Trade-offs, synergies and acceptability of climate smart agricultural practices by smallholder farmers in rural Ghana

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Abstract

Climate smart agriculture (CSA) has been promoted by governments and international development institutions as an intervention to address climate change and deliver triple wins. Yet, the trade-offs and synergies associated with CSA practices have not been explored. This study develops composite indices for prioritizing CSA practices to better inform policy about their trade-offs, synergies and acceptability. The aim of this study was to examine smallholder farmers’ uptake of CSA practices, the drivers of such uptake and the benefits (positive and negative) of CSA practices on agriculture, livelihoods and the environment. We employed the Analytic Hierarchy Process with workshop participants across two study districts in Ghana’s transitional and Sudan savannah agroecological zones. Results showed differences in CSA practices prioritized for achieving the productivity, adaptive capacity and mitigation goals between the two agroecological zones. Results also showed synergies and trade-offs associated with the implementation of CSA interventions, for example, irrigation may increase farm productivity (synergy) while contributing to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) simultaneously (trade-off). Additionally, there are various perceived acceptance and efficiency levels of CSA practices by smallholder farmers and agricultural development officers. These results have implications for the implementation of future CSA action plans in vulnerability hotspots in dryland farming systems.

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APA

Antwi-Agyei, P., Atta-Aidoo, J., Asare-Nuamah, P., Stringer, L. C., & Antwi, K. (2023). Trade-offs, synergies and acceptability of climate smart agricultural practices by smallholder farmers in rural Ghana. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/14735903.2023.2193439

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