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Farmers’ perceptions and adaptations to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa: a synthesis of empirical studies and implications for public policy in African agriculture

Climate change has the potential of undermining sustainable development efforts in Africa, if steps are not taken to respond to its adverse consequences. This study reviews existing and available literature on farmers’ perceptions and adaptation strategies to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa.

The paper finds that the majority of farmers are aware of changes in precipitation patterns and temperature. They have responded through crop diversification, planting different crop varieties, changing planting and harvesting dates, irrigation, planting tree crops, water and soil conservation techniques, and switching to non-farm income activities.

It is concluded that to enable sub-Saharan African farmers to develop more effective climate change adaptation strategies, African governments need to support farmers by providing the necessary resources such as credit, information and extension workers to train farmers on climate change adaptation strategies and technologies, as well as investing in climate resilient projects.