Participatory Agroecological Assessment of Farmers’ Capacity ...

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  • Title: Participatory Agroecological Assessment of Farmers’ Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change in Malawi
  • Author(s): Darren Bardati
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses
  • Keywords: Agroecology, Participatory Action Research, Adaptive Capacity, Climate Change, Malawi
  • Volume: 11
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 1835-7156 (Print)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1835-7156/CGP/v11i03/15-33
  • Citation: Bardati, Darren . 2019. "Participatory Agroecological Assessment of Farmers’ Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change in Malawi." The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses 11 (3): 15-33. doi:10.18848/1835-7156/CGP/v11i03/15-33.
  • Extent: 19 pages

Abstract

The author of this study developed a heuristic technique called “participatory agroecological assessment” for use by smallholder farmers in Malawi to examine their vulnerability to threats due to changing climatic conditions. Rooted in a participatory action research paradigm, the author collected data jointly with Malawian farmers near Chilanga, Kasungu District, through detailed observations of landscape and farm plot scale conditions, and through interviews with key informants over the span of four weeks in June 2016. Farmers participated in workshops to co-construct a set of twenty-four assessment indicators, based on contextually appropriate agroecological practices, to perform the assessment. The findings of the assessment provide empirical evidence about the farming system’s vulnerability to drought, while also serving as recommendations to guide farmers in their transition toward agroecological practices, thereby enhancing their adaptive capacity to climate change.