2015 – 2017
In a nutshell
ActionAid, in collaboration with the Gambian Ministry of Agriculture and local farmer groups, address the issue of resilience in eighteen villages in three districts of Gambia. The project aims at streamlining of agroecological approaches for smallholder farmers to adapt to climate-induced shocks and to reduce vulnerabilities.
The project comprises training of extension workers and farmers, promoting peer-to-peer learning about concrete measures that foster approaches such as diversification, integrated pest management, seed banks or soil conservation.
Overall, more than 1300 smallholder farmers have been sensitized about climate change and how to adapt through Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture, Disaster Risk Reduction and Documentation and Shared Learning. Under the leadership of women, the farmer groups were able to identify their hazards, priorities and to developed action plans that address the hazards.
The Gambia has a tropical climate. A hot and rainy season lasts from June until November. In recent years, droughts and storms have become more frequent, also in the northern region where the project is located. During 2010-2012, farmers faced flash floods, periods of drought, disease infestation, saline intrusion, deforestation and massive erosion of their farmlands resulting in crop failure and reduced food security.
The main goal of this project is to support smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change related shocks in the short-term and to reduce their vulnerabilities in longer terms.
- Intercropping, mixed cropping, cover crops
- Use and application of composting, mulching
- Introduction of open pollinated, traditional, early maturing seed varieties
- Use of botanical pesticides
- Provision of environmentally friendly farm implements and draught animals
- Participatory vulnerability analysis and mitigation action plans
- Alternative livelihood activities such as bee keeping, small ruminant rearing, tie & dye and batiks, soap making, petty trading, fishing equipment
- Farmer extension service support and peer to peer leaning
- Training, dissemination, and ongoing farmer and promoter development
- Strengthening capabilities through capacity building on value chains and access to market
The project has created enhanced awareness among smallholder farmers about climate change and its impact on lives and livelihood sources. Project participants have reported an increase in food security and effective adaptation to climate change, adoption rates are considerably high.
Most commonly adopted practices were intercropping, mixed farming, application of organic manure, composting and adoption of non-farm burning.
Despite extension trainings and peer-to-peer, learning, limited capacity to reach out to large numbers of farmers remains a challenge.
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