Exploring the concept of place in the literature on smallholder farmers and climate change adaptation in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Abstract

This critical review paper expands on the meaning of place. It opens a new narrative on how the geographic concept of place is conceptualized in smallholder farmers and climate change adaptation literature in Sub-Saharan Africa. The review suggested that place is not only the ‘where’ of a location but a location geographically connected and interdependent to illustrate how smallholder farmers’ experiences in adapting to climate shocks interact with global efforts such as improving food security, eliminating poverty and building sustainable rural livelihood. Through the various climate change adaptation strategies exhibited by different farmer groups, the paper demonstrated that people in places have the agency to make choices that control their destinies irrespective of whatever global force overwhelms them. The paper argues sense of place expressed through ecological place meaning shapes people’s intuition, beliefs, actions and experiences as illustrated by smallholders’ perception of the determinant and barriers to effective adaptation strategies. The ecological place meaning also influences the ‘glocalization’ of climate impact on agroecological-based livelihoods at different locations and how maladaptive outcomes are perceived. Place gives people identity by (re)shaping actions and experiences and vice versa. There is an undeviating relationship between power, place and people’s experience. Further exploration of the relationship between lifeworld experiences, people, and power is central in understanding the meaning of place in smallholder farmers and climate change interaction.

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APA

Quarshie, P. T. (2022). Exploring the concept of place in the literature on smallholder farmers and climate change adaptation in Sub-Saharan Africa. South African Geographical Journal, 104(2), 251–269. https://doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2021.1963316

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