Assessing Smallholder Farmers’ Perception on Climate Variability in Relation to Climatological Evidence: A Case Study of Benguene in the Sudanian Zone of Mali

  • Souleymane S Traore, PhD University of Social Sciences and Management of Bamako
  • Mamy Soumare, PhD Institute of Rural Economy, CRRA-Sotuba, Bamako
  • Sidi Dembele, PhD University of Social Sciences and Management of Bamako
  • Vincent N Ojeh, PhD Taraba State University
  • Safiatou Guindo Institute of Rural Economy, CRRA-Sotuba, Bamako
  • Cheick H Diakite, PhD Institute of Rural Economy, CRRA-Sotuba, Bamako
Keywords: Climate Variability, Smallholder Farmer, Perception, Evidence, Sudanian Zone
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Sudanian zone is one of the regions in West Africa most confronted with high climate variability, challenging agricultural sustainability and rural livelihoods. Despite multiple research efforts devoted to exploring how farmers in this region perceive climate variability and how perceptions relate to adaptive responses, much remains to be done. This study examined farmers’ perception of climate variability compared with scientific evidence in the terroir of Benguene, between 1983 and 2018. Data was collected from twenty-nine (29) farmland heads (representing 49% of the total farmland heads in the village) through a survey conducted in October 2019. Monthly temperature data from ground measurement and daily rainfall data extracted from the gridded African Rainfall Climatology version 2 (ARC-2) time series was used. Descriptive statistic was used to analyse survey data. Climate data analysis included Mann Kendall trend analysis and computation of growing season parameters (Onset, Duration and Cessation) and its trend. In the end, a conformity index was used to compare farmers’ perceptions to climatological evidence. Conformity graph showed that apart from temperature, the farmers have low, to a weak perception of the other variables used to assess their perception. Results showed that many smallholder farmers have observed a rise in temperature (90%), delay onset (93%) and early cessation (93%) of rainfall. The analysis of the climate data showed high variability in the climate during the study period as observed in the increasing trends in temperature (p-value of 0.0007) and in the rainfall (p-value of 0.0001). Concerning the season parameters, the results show increasingly early-onset (June 1st ± 22 days) increasingly late cessation (October 09th ± 14 days) and consequently a long duration of the rainy season (130 ± 27 days). Conversely, farmers thought the opposite. These results imply the urgent need to increase smallholder farmers awareness of climate variability and change by providing climate information for better adaptation


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11 August, 2021
How to Cite
Traore, S., Soumare, M., Dembele, S., Ojeh, V., Guindo, S., & Diakite, C. (2021). Assessing Smallholder Farmers’ Perception on Climate Variability in Relation to Climatological Evidence: A Case Study of Benguene in the Sudanian Zone of Mali. East African Journal of Agriculture and Biotechnology, 3(1), 24-34.