Survival Strategies of Women Smallholder Farmers in Response to the Effects of Climate Change: A Case Study of the Kpachelo Community of Savelugu Municipality
Keywords:climate change, women, food security, smallholder farmers, strategies, agriculture
This study was carried out within the context of heightening concerns that climate change is imposing difficulties on the livelihoods of rural people in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study examined the effects of climate change on rural smallholder women farmers in the Kpachelo community of northern Ghana. Data was collected using focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, and direct observations. The empirical results reveal agriculture to be the principal economic activity of the women of Kpachelo community, focusing on crop production and animals rearing, with sole dependence on natural rainfall. The study also unravels household food insecurity as the substantive consequence of climatic change in the area. The most important survival strategies adopted by women rural smallholders to reduce the effects of climate change include rationing of meals, consumption of seed stock, and reducing the quantity of food eaten per day. Consequently, there is the need for adaptation efforts to address the sources of vulnerability and poverty for rural women. There must be a deliberate attempt to institutionalize, re-equip and strengthen district level agricultural extension agents and climate information services to serve vulnerable communities, including women.