Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation in Smallholder Farming Systems: A Focus on sub-Saharan

K.K.E. Descheemaeker, K.E. Giller, S.J. Oosting, P. Masikati, S. Homann-Kee Tui

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstractAcademic

Abstract

Livestock play an important role in the smallholder farming systems of sub Saharan Africa. Rangeland-based systems cover a larger area on the continent, but mixed crop-livestock systems support the majority of rural and urban livelihoods and contribute significantly to food security. Livestock provide multiple products and services, including draught power for cultivation and transport, manure for soil fertility improvement, cultural status and insurance mechanisms to cope with (drought related) shocks. Farmers often sell livestock to buy food when crop harvests fail. In many cases livestock are kept primarily to support crop production, with milk and meat considered as useful byproducts of livestock keeping. Crop residues constitute an important part of the livestock diet in mixed systems, the remainder being provided by rangelands, which are often communally managed. Livestock-based farming systems are affected by climate change through impacts on feed quantity and quality, through changes in crop production and composition, and through changes in rangeland production and their species composition. Climate change intricately affects the spread and incidence of livestock diseases, and more directly, increasing temperature affects livestock performance. Whereas animals are in general less vulnerable to drought than crops, extreme droughts can wipe out regional or national herds, which take a long time to recover. The high diversity of farming systems both across agro-ecological zones and within communities, coupled with the variety of and uncertainty around climate change trends, make generalized conclusions on the most promising adaptation options difficult. Moreover, in many places, other drivers such as population increase, urbanization, changing policy and institutional contexts, and expanding markets might exert a stronger, more immediate influence on smallholder systems than climate change. Nevertheless, smallholder systems are vulnerable to climate change, and adaptation is necessary. In mixed-crop livestock systems, three broad intervention categories exist: cropping-related, feed-related and animal-related interventions. The first category comprises crop choice and crop management, including adjusting planting date and cultivar, and nutrient management based on judicious use of mineral and organic fertilizers. Feed-related interventions can close feed gaps through, for example, on-farm fodder production, fodder storage, improving feed quality, and rangeland management and rehabilitation. Thirdly, animal-related options include veterinary care, herd management and provision of shade. In general, good agricultural and livestock management practices that improve current productivity also increase the resilience of farming systems to climate change. System diversity and configurations are also likely to change with climate change. Complete systems shifts are not unlikely, and in locations where the climate will get drier, this may increase the importance of livestock. Although some adaptation options could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the potential for mitigation in smallholder systems is limited. Moreover, contrary to the general conclusion that greenhouse gas emissions per kg of milk or meat are much greater in smallholder systems than in more intensive livestock systems, the emissions per sustained livelihood are far smaller in the African context. Furthermore, especially in areas that are likely to become drier, the role of extensive livestock keeping is likely to become more important as systems adapt to climate change. This is likely to result in even larger greenhouse gas emissions per kg of milk or meat. Thirdly, evidence across Africa shows that farmers adopt improved feeding practices and intensify livestock production systems only where market incentives and enabling institutions are present. We conclude that mitigation will only be possible through placing greater emphasis on adaptation.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of Livestock, Climate Change and Food Security Conference
PublisherINRA
Pages89-89
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventLivestock, Climate Change and Food Security Conference2014, Madrid, Spain -
Duration: 18 May 201419 May 2014

Conference

ConferenceLivestock, Climate Change and Food Security Conference2014, Madrid, Spain
Period18/05/1419/05/14

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small-scale farming
livestock
farming systems
climate change
greenhouse gas emissions
rangelands
drought
meat
crops
livelihood
milk
crop production
herds
forage
farmers
markets
draft animals
livestock diseases
animals
feed quality

Cite this

Descheemaeker, K. K. E., Giller, K. E., Oosting, S. J., Masikati, P., & Homann-Kee Tui, S. (2014). Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation in Smallholder Farming Systems: A Focus on sub-Saharan. In Book of Abstracts of Livestock, Climate Change and Food Security Conference (pp. 89-89). INRA.
Descheemaeker, K.K.E. ; Giller, K.E. ; Oosting, S.J. ; Masikati, P. ; Homann-Kee Tui, S. / Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation in Smallholder Farming Systems: A Focus on sub-Saharan. Book of Abstracts of Livestock, Climate Change and Food Security Conference. INRA, 2014. pp. 89-89
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abstract = "Livestock play an important role in the smallholder farming systems of sub Saharan Africa. Rangeland-based systems cover a larger area on the continent, but mixed crop-livestock systems support the majority of rural and urban livelihoods and contribute significantly to food security. Livestock provide multiple products and services, including draught power for cultivation and transport, manure for soil fertility improvement, cultural status and insurance mechanisms to cope with (drought related) shocks. Farmers often sell livestock to buy food when crop harvests fail. In many cases livestock are kept primarily to support crop production, with milk and meat considered as useful byproducts of livestock keeping. Crop residues constitute an important part of the livestock diet in mixed systems, the remainder being provided by rangelands, which are often communally managed. Livestock-based farming systems are affected by climate change through impacts on feed quantity and quality, through changes in crop production and composition, and through changes in rangeland production and their species composition. Climate change intricately affects the spread and incidence of livestock diseases, and more directly, increasing temperature affects livestock performance. Whereas animals are in general less vulnerable to drought than crops, extreme droughts can wipe out regional or national herds, which take a long time to recover. The high diversity of farming systems both across agro-ecological zones and within communities, coupled with the variety of and uncertainty around climate change trends, make generalized conclusions on the most promising adaptation options difficult. Moreover, in many places, other drivers such as population increase, urbanization, changing policy and institutional contexts, and expanding markets might exert a stronger, more immediate influence on smallholder systems than climate change. Nevertheless, smallholder systems are vulnerable to climate change, and adaptation is necessary. In mixed-crop livestock systems, three broad intervention categories exist: cropping-related, feed-related and animal-related interventions. The first category comprises crop choice and crop management, including adjusting planting date and cultivar, and nutrient management based on judicious use of mineral and organic fertilizers. Feed-related interventions can close feed gaps through, for example, on-farm fodder production, fodder storage, improving feed quality, and rangeland management and rehabilitation. Thirdly, animal-related options include veterinary care, herd management and provision of shade. In general, good agricultural and livestock management practices that improve current productivity also increase the resilience of farming systems to climate change. System diversity and configurations are also likely to change with climate change. Complete systems shifts are not unlikely, and in locations where the climate will get drier, this may increase the importance of livestock. Although some adaptation options could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the potential for mitigation in smallholder systems is limited. Moreover, contrary to the general conclusion that greenhouse gas emissions per kg of milk or meat are much greater in smallholder systems than in more intensive livestock systems, the emissions per sustained livelihood are far smaller in the African context. Furthermore, especially in areas that are likely to become drier, the role of extensive livestock keeping is likely to become more important as systems adapt to climate change. This is likely to result in even larger greenhouse gas emissions per kg of milk or meat. Thirdly, evidence across Africa shows that farmers adopt improved feeding practices and intensify livestock production systems only where market incentives and enabling institutions are present. We conclude that mitigation will only be possible through placing greater emphasis on adaptation.",
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Descheemaeker, KKE, Giller, KE, Oosting, SJ, Masikati, P & Homann-Kee Tui, S 2014, Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation in Smallholder Farming Systems: A Focus on sub-Saharan. in Book of Abstracts of Livestock, Climate Change and Food Security Conference. INRA, pp. 89-89, Livestock, Climate Change and Food Security Conference2014, Madrid, Spain, 18/05/14.

Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation in Smallholder Farming Systems: A Focus on sub-Saharan. / Descheemaeker, K.K.E.; Giller, K.E.; Oosting, S.J.; Masikati, P.; Homann-Kee Tui, S.

Book of Abstracts of Livestock, Climate Change and Food Security Conference. INRA, 2014. p. 89-89.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstractAcademic

TY - CHAP

T1 - Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation in Smallholder Farming Systems: A Focus on sub-Saharan

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AU - Giller, K.E.

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N2 - Livestock play an important role in the smallholder farming systems of sub Saharan Africa. Rangeland-based systems cover a larger area on the continent, but mixed crop-livestock systems support the majority of rural and urban livelihoods and contribute significantly to food security. Livestock provide multiple products and services, including draught power for cultivation and transport, manure for soil fertility improvement, cultural status and insurance mechanisms to cope with (drought related) shocks. Farmers often sell livestock to buy food when crop harvests fail. In many cases livestock are kept primarily to support crop production, with milk and meat considered as useful byproducts of livestock keeping. Crop residues constitute an important part of the livestock diet in mixed systems, the remainder being provided by rangelands, which are often communally managed. Livestock-based farming systems are affected by climate change through impacts on feed quantity and quality, through changes in crop production and composition, and through changes in rangeland production and their species composition. Climate change intricately affects the spread and incidence of livestock diseases, and more directly, increasing temperature affects livestock performance. Whereas animals are in general less vulnerable to drought than crops, extreme droughts can wipe out regional or national herds, which take a long time to recover. The high diversity of farming systems both across agro-ecological zones and within communities, coupled with the variety of and uncertainty around climate change trends, make generalized conclusions on the most promising adaptation options difficult. Moreover, in many places, other drivers such as population increase, urbanization, changing policy and institutional contexts, and expanding markets might exert a stronger, more immediate influence on smallholder systems than climate change. Nevertheless, smallholder systems are vulnerable to climate change, and adaptation is necessary. In mixed-crop livestock systems, three broad intervention categories exist: cropping-related, feed-related and animal-related interventions. The first category comprises crop choice and crop management, including adjusting planting date and cultivar, and nutrient management based on judicious use of mineral and organic fertilizers. Feed-related interventions can close feed gaps through, for example, on-farm fodder production, fodder storage, improving feed quality, and rangeland management and rehabilitation. Thirdly, animal-related options include veterinary care, herd management and provision of shade. In general, good agricultural and livestock management practices that improve current productivity also increase the resilience of farming systems to climate change. System diversity and configurations are also likely to change with climate change. Complete systems shifts are not unlikely, and in locations where the climate will get drier, this may increase the importance of livestock. Although some adaptation options could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the potential for mitigation in smallholder systems is limited. Moreover, contrary to the general conclusion that greenhouse gas emissions per kg of milk or meat are much greater in smallholder systems than in more intensive livestock systems, the emissions per sustained livelihood are far smaller in the African context. Furthermore, especially in areas that are likely to become drier, the role of extensive livestock keeping is likely to become more important as systems adapt to climate change. This is likely to result in even larger greenhouse gas emissions per kg of milk or meat. Thirdly, evidence across Africa shows that farmers adopt improved feeding practices and intensify livestock production systems only where market incentives and enabling institutions are present. We conclude that mitigation will only be possible through placing greater emphasis on adaptation.

AB - Livestock play an important role in the smallholder farming systems of sub Saharan Africa. Rangeland-based systems cover a larger area on the continent, but mixed crop-livestock systems support the majority of rural and urban livelihoods and contribute significantly to food security. Livestock provide multiple products and services, including draught power for cultivation and transport, manure for soil fertility improvement, cultural status and insurance mechanisms to cope with (drought related) shocks. Farmers often sell livestock to buy food when crop harvests fail. In many cases livestock are kept primarily to support crop production, with milk and meat considered as useful byproducts of livestock keeping. Crop residues constitute an important part of the livestock diet in mixed systems, the remainder being provided by rangelands, which are often communally managed. Livestock-based farming systems are affected by climate change through impacts on feed quantity and quality, through changes in crop production and composition, and through changes in rangeland production and their species composition. Climate change intricately affects the spread and incidence of livestock diseases, and more directly, increasing temperature affects livestock performance. Whereas animals are in general less vulnerable to drought than crops, extreme droughts can wipe out regional or national herds, which take a long time to recover. The high diversity of farming systems both across agro-ecological zones and within communities, coupled with the variety of and uncertainty around climate change trends, make generalized conclusions on the most promising adaptation options difficult. Moreover, in many places, other drivers such as population increase, urbanization, changing policy and institutional contexts, and expanding markets might exert a stronger, more immediate influence on smallholder systems than climate change. Nevertheless, smallholder systems are vulnerable to climate change, and adaptation is necessary. In mixed-crop livestock systems, three broad intervention categories exist: cropping-related, feed-related and animal-related interventions. The first category comprises crop choice and crop management, including adjusting planting date and cultivar, and nutrient management based on judicious use of mineral and organic fertilizers. Feed-related interventions can close feed gaps through, for example, on-farm fodder production, fodder storage, improving feed quality, and rangeland management and rehabilitation. Thirdly, animal-related options include veterinary care, herd management and provision of shade. In general, good agricultural and livestock management practices that improve current productivity also increase the resilience of farming systems to climate change. System diversity and configurations are also likely to change with climate change. Complete systems shifts are not unlikely, and in locations where the climate will get drier, this may increase the importance of livestock. Although some adaptation options could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the potential for mitigation in smallholder systems is limited. Moreover, contrary to the general conclusion that greenhouse gas emissions per kg of milk or meat are much greater in smallholder systems than in more intensive livestock systems, the emissions per sustained livelihood are far smaller in the African context. Furthermore, especially in areas that are likely to become drier, the role of extensive livestock keeping is likely to become more important as systems adapt to climate change. This is likely to result in even larger greenhouse gas emissions per kg of milk or meat. Thirdly, evidence across Africa shows that farmers adopt improved feeding practices and intensify livestock production systems only where market incentives and enabling institutions are present. We conclude that mitigation will only be possible through placing greater emphasis on adaptation.

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Descheemaeker KKE, Giller KE, Oosting SJ, Masikati P, Homann-Kee Tui S. Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation in Smallholder Farming Systems: A Focus on sub-Saharan. In Book of Abstracts of Livestock, Climate Change and Food Security Conference. INRA. 2014. p. 89-89