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Adapting to Climate Change Through Conservation Agriculture: A Gendered Analysis of Eastern Zambia
The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit. Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3655-2248
2021 (English)In: Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, E-ISSN 2571-581X, Vol. 5, article id 748300Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explored the use of conservation agriculture (CA) as a climate adaptationstrategy among smallholder farmers in Eastern Zambia. Using 761 household interviewsand 33 focus group discussions (FGDs) with smallholder farmers from six districts, datawas collected on how smallholder farmers in the region experience climate change,what CA practices they had adopted, and benefits and challenges associated withCA practice. Results show that men and women farmers had similar experiences ofclimate change, namely late onset of a shortened rainy season, intra-seasonal droughtand higher temperatures. Farmers’ perceptions of gender-mediated effects of climatechange had important nuances. The three most cited effects of climate change onwomen mentioned by women were lower crop yields, outbreaks of armyworms andreduced livestock fodder. The men thought women were most affected by increasedhunger, lower crop yields and reduced domestic water sources. According to the womenFGDs, men were most affected through reduced crop yields, increases in livestockdiseases and increased hunger. The men self-reported reduced crop yields, reducedwater for livestock and outbreaks of armyworms. Both men and women saw CA ashaving climate change adaptation benefits. For the women, men most benefitted fromCA through the high moisture holding capacity of basins, higher crop yields and reducedlabor requirements through use of oxen ripping. The men most appreciated the highcrop yields, improved soil fertility and reduced costs as less fertilizer is used. The womencited the high moisture holding capacity of basins, high crop yields and improved soilfertility as benefits they most commonly derived from CA, while the men thought thewomen most benefitted from CA through the higher crop yields, improved soil fertilityand crop tolerance to droughts. The study concludes that there is room for CA to serveas a climate smart agricultural system for both men and women smallholder farmers inEastern Zambia. However, this will require addressing important challenges of high weedpressure, high labor demands, and low access to manure, and CA farming implements.The CA package for Zambia should include access to timely climate information andclimate informed crop choices

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. Vol. 5, article id 748300
Keywords [en]
Climate smart agriculture, minimum tillage, gender roles, ripping, basins
National Category
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use Human Geography Climate Research
Research subject
Natural resources and environment; Rural
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-2586DOI: 10.3389/fsufs.2021.748300OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nai-2586DiVA, id: diva2:1612589
Available from: 2021-11-18 Created: 2021-11-18 Last updated: 2023-03-28Bibliographically approved

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