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Rural societies in the face of climatic and environmental changes in West Africa

 | 
Benjamin Sultan
, 
Richard Lalou
, 
Mouftaou Amadou Sanni
, 
et al.

Part IV. Adaptation of farming systems, innovations

Chapter 17. Innovation in rural West Africa

What changes in farming practices?

Frédéric Kosmowski, Moustapha Gibigaye, Bertrand Muller et Richard Lalou

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Introduction

In rural parts of West Africa, farming is carried out in a context of poverty and farmers who already suffer many kinds of stress must face up to climatic changes. Here, adaptation to these changes has become a major research theme in recent decades.

From the political angle, the concept of adaptation to climatic changes is unambiguous: it consists of using appropriate policies to strengthen the capacity of the most vulnerable populations to respond to the challenges formed by climatic changes (UNFCCC, 2007). The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines adaptation as a change in farming systems in response to climatic changes or variability in a context of interacting social and environmental changes (Adger, 2007). Guided by political objectives, adaptation is a direct, intentional response imposed by climate change that is external to human and natural systems.

The adaptation of agricultural practices to climatic changes is the subject of considerable empirica...

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