Agricultural Innovations for Climate Change Adaptation and Food Security in Western and Central Africa
The study sought to examine various agricultural innovations for climate change adaptation and food security in eight countries in Western and Central Africa namely Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Gambia, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Central African Republic. The countries were grouped into three clusters to facilitate comparative analysis of the data generated. Primary and secondary data were collected using questionnaire, participant observation and focus group discussions while secondary data were obtained through in-depth literature review. Descriptive statistics were mainly employed in data analysis. Results show that the most prominent adaptation measures in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia were; processing of crops to reduce post-harvest losses; increased weeding; mulching; increased manure application; movement to a different farm site; use of agrochemicals; and prayers for God’s intervention. In Ghana and the Gambia, most of the farmers did not do anything but relied on God’s intervention. However, others embarked on regular weeding, construction of drainage systems and trenches, and use of agrochemicals. They also referred difficult cases to extension agents. In Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and the Central African Republic, farmers, resorted to late planting, blocking of drainage in rice fields to conserve water, multiple cropping; planting crops with different maturity periods, use of wood ash, and urban cropping. The study recommends more interaction of relevant stakeholders including farmers, extension agents, civil society actors, private sector actors and government in generating suitable agricultural innovations for climate change adaptation and food security in the regions. Above all, the study identified the need for capacity strengthening at all levels in the agricultural value chain to ensure food security even in the face of climate change.
Key words: Climate change, innovation, adaptation, agriculture, food security, Africa