Knowledge Sharing for Climate Change Adaption

Resource for Theme 'Poverty and vulnerability'

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND FOOD INSECURITY IN MARADI DISTRICT – NIGER

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admin | 2012-02-14 15:32 | download | 685.6 KB
Filename: resources/784/ICID Paper_MOUSSA NA ABOU Mamouda.pdf


Author(s):

Date of publication: 2012-02-14

Associated Organization:

Themes: Agriculture, fisheries and food security, Gender, Poverty and vulnerability, Water

Regions: West Africa

Countries: Niger, Nigeria

Summary:

In Maradi district (Niger), more than 80% of the population is composed of farmers practicing a rain fed agriculture. However, because of climate variability and changes, rainfall has become uncertain, either coming too early, too late, too much or too little. On the other hand, seasons are becoming shorter and annual temperatures more extreme. During previous field visit and survey in January 2007 among Maradi district communities (Tibiri, Maradawa and Gabi), an alarming report stated the following: over 50% of interviewed farmers said that they entirely consume their harvest just after three months! During the remaining nine months in the year and before the next harvest, these communities used to develop small irrigation and income generating activities from fruit and vegetables they produced. But, because of climate variability and change, these farmers are facing a tremendous challenge in fetching surface and ground water for irrigation. As a result, any adaptation strategy via irrigation became so costly (mainly because of high oil prices and difficult access to energy services) that it is out of many small farmers’ reach. In order to ensure their food security, these communities generally settle for some coping mechanisms including social networking, solidarity and alternative livelihoods, small-scale irrigation or migration. However, irrigation has become less productive because of water scarcity and higher minimum annual temperatures. The only one river (Goulbi) flowing across Maradi city and which use to flow for at least six months after the raining season, is now flowing for only one to two months because reduction in annual regional rainfall and also because of a dam1 set upstream in Nigeria a neighbouring country of Niger. Combination of all these stressors makes Maradi district frequently exposed to food insecurity. In this case, communities tend to implement several coping mechanisms to ensure their food security. This paper attempts to understand these coping mechanisms so as to inform policy and decision makers at all levels in the exploration of ways and means of adding value on some of these coping mechanisms to transform them into adaptation. Because of the trans-boundary linkages that it implies, this paper shows that adaptation to climate change should no longer be considered only as a local but multi scale, multi level process.

Key words: food security, adaptation, coping mechanism, social capital, and policy process

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