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Norwegian University of Life Sciences (2015)

Agroecological practices in a context of climate change in Africa

Debray, Valentine

Titre : Agroecological practices in a context of climate change in Africa

Auteur : Debray, Valentine

Université de soutenance : Norwegian University of Life Sciences,

Grade : Master Thesis 2015

Résumé
Climate change effects are already being felt across Africa. Global warming, increasing rainfall variability and extreme events multiplication accentuate the risks for peasants who often already have to deal with natural resources scarcity. Peasants are among the most vulnerable to these evolutions and therefore need to take adaptation measures that will secure the maintenance of their farming systems. Agroecology should present great potential for adaptation. Literature review on climate change in four climatic zones of Africa (arid, sub-arid, sub humid and humid tropical) permitted to underline major challenges. Agroecological practices of peasants across Africa were then inventoried through interviews with experts of French NGOs and African associations. Climate evolutions accelerate land degradation, further restrict water availability, and limit growth season length and crop and animal productivity. All over Africa, peasants implement agroecological practices to efficiently use natural resources for food production. These practices, including diversification, contribute to improve the management of all the agroecosystem’s components, strengthening farming systems’ resilience. Furthermore, collective organization reinforces peasants’ adaptation capacity. Farming systems’ adaptation could therefore lay in the combination of practices that improves the global system’s functioning. However, agroecology does not provide with a universal solution, but with principles that can be applied to all specific contexts.

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Page publiée le 8 janvier 2017, mise à jour le 7 octobre 2019