An integrated research approach to develop adaptive management strategies by small-scale farmers in semi-arid South Africa and Ethiopia under changing climatic and policy conditions (Mechal)
Small-scale farmers in semi-arid lands are typically restricted to marginal lands and cope with limited economic resources. Anticipated climate change, which is predicted to result in higher temperatures, later onset of rain seasons, will further weaken their economic conditions. In both study areas (in Ethiopia and South Africa), opportunistic strategies to cope with current droughts can be environmentally damaging. Population increase, land degradation, increased landlessness, decreased biodiversity, limited alternative livelihood options and changing land regulations because of changes in political power and many other frame conditions will all play a role in developing adaptive management strategies for small-scale farming system under climate change. The interdisciplinary and integrative research project aimed to identify, evaluate and, where appropriate, develop new innovative strategies to cope with droughts in order to develop farming practices adapted to changing climatic conditions in semi-arid areas of South Africa and Ethiopia through an action research approach. The project focussed on increasing the problem solving capacity of especially vulnerable groups and will thus focus on working with women and small scale farmers to enhance their resilience.
Stakeholders in Arsi Negele, Ethiopia, ploughing with oxen. Photo: Hannah Scharlau
- Duration: 2010-2014
- Project lead: Dr. Ute Schmiedel
- Sponsor: Volkswagen Stiftung