Agricultural practices and perceptions of climate change in Keur Samba Guéye village, Senegal, West Africa

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Virginia Tech


This research uses a mixed methods approach to analyze recent climate and land use changes, and farmers' perceptions of climate change and its impacts on traditional agriculture in the village of Keur Samba Guéye (KSG). This work looks at the influence of social beliefs in adoption of new strategies by small farmers in this region, a topic that has received little or no study to date. Traditional agriculture in KSG is not very productive at present because of the impoverishment of the area and traditional agricultures strong dependency on natural climatic conditions. In this research, I identified recent climatic trends, documented changes in land use/land cover (LULC) from 1989 to 2011, and assessed farmers' perceptions of climate change and their responses to such changes. To document climate trends and LULC, I analyzed climate data of twelve meteorological stations located across the country and created a classification of satellite images of KSG for two time periods. To examine farmers' perceptions and agricultural practices, I conducted surveys of the farmers of KSG and in surrounding villages. Most farmers reported negative impacts of climate change on their agriculture activities, and interest in adopting new agricultural strategies despite long-standing tradition. Increasing temperatures and irregularity of rainfall may have negatively impacted crop yields, but more climate data are needed to clarify this phenomenon. LULC has been influenced by both climate change and human pressure; agricultural land has declined, while bare soils have increased. Several recommendations are provided that may help farmers to cope with changing climate.



traditional agriculture, responses, climate change, farmers