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University of Amsterdam (2017)

From risk to resilience : how do female farmers adapt to climate variability through associations and agroecology in peri-urban agriculture ? : Ouagadougou Burkina Faso

Humblot Marina

Titre : From risk to resilience : how do female farmers adapt to climate variability through associations and agroecology in peri-urban agriculture ? : Ouagadougou Burkina Faso

Auteur : Humblot Marina

Université de soutenance : University of Amsterdam

Grade : MSc. International Development 2017

Résumé
In recent years, it has been increasingly recognized that climate change is a threatening reality, urging every country to adapt to its devastating effects on agriculture, especially in the most vulnerable countries like Burkina Faso, where 80% of the people live on agriculture. Traditionally, women haven’t been included in environmental policies, and yet they play a crucial role in market gardening. Their degree of vulnerability requires in-depth, context-specific studies, considering women as agents of change. Through agroecological practices and grouping, female farmers of Ouagadougou are building unprecedented resilience in the face of the climate variability they perceived on the field. Drawing on a qualitative fieldwork research during the rainy season in 2016, this study builds upon the accounts of the farmers and key actors interviewed. Moving from risk to resilience, the research assesses how female farmers adapt to climate variability with associations and agroecological farming in peri-urban agriculture in Ouagadougou. Research methods are a combination of qualitative methods as the main objective is to report about personal perceptions of the reality of climate change, women’s impressions and personal experiences. Nevertheless, some quantitative surveys corroborated the findings, as they were used a first step to identify women’s understanding of climate variability before delving into the impacts on their livelihoods. The majority of farmers acknowledge that climate change is an indisputable reality in Burkina Faso, flooding being an indicative of its devastating effects. Marked by Pierre Rabhi’s teachings, and Thomas Sankara’s fight for food sovereignty, female farmers and social leaders have abundant ingenious solutions and adaptation strategies, based on endogenous knowledge. In this paper, it is argued that female farmers should be encouraged to form groups in order to tackle vulnerability. Government’s entities and supporting structures should work in line with the pressing challenges of sustainable production systems posed by climate stresses. Truly participatory processes and transformative training need to be implemented now, to adapt but also to adopt a more holistic and ecological approach. Agroecology proved to be a sustainable solution empowering female farmers and providing organic food for all. Its practices need to be implemented at a larger scale.

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