Future climatic and agro-ecological changes in Africa are uncertain and associated with high degrees of spatial and temporal variability and this change is differently simulated within divergent climate-crop models and in controlled crop breeding stations. Furthermore, uncertainty emerges in local contexts, not just in response to climatic systems, but to social, economic, and political systems, and often with implications for the appropriateness and adoption of technologies or the success of alternative cropping systems.
This book examines the challenges of adaptation in smallholder farming in Africa, analysing the social, economic, political and climatic uncertainties that impact on agriculture in the region and the range of solutions proposed. Drawing on case studies of genetically modified crops, conservation agriculture, and other 'climate smart' solutions in eastern and southern Africa, the book identifies how uncertainties are framed 'from above' as well experienced 'from below', by farmers themselves. It provides a compelling insight into why ideas about adaptation emerge, from whom, and with what implications.
This book offers a unique perspective and will be highly relevant to students of climate change adaptation, food security and poverty alleviation, as well as policy-makers and field practitioners in international development and agronomy.
Stephen Whitfield is Lecturer in Climate Change and Food Security at the University of Leeds, UK.
1. Narratives of Change in African Agriculture Part 1: Uncertainty from Above and Below 2. Constructing Uncertainty 'from Above': Knowledge and narratives of climate change adaptation 3. Constructing Uncertainty from Below: Continual adaptation in Kenyan smallholder farming Part 2: Technologies of Agricultural Change 4. Breeding for an Uncertain Future: The case of 'drought tolerant' and 'water efficient' maize for Africa 5. Ciritcal Perspectives on Conservation Agriculture in Zambia and Malawi 6. What is Climate 'Smartness'? A review of case studies of 'climate-smart agriculture' 7. Governing Adaptation in Africa's Agricultural Future