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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 33; doi:10.3390/socsci7030033

Can Social Capital influence Smallholder Farmers’ Climate-Change Adaptation Decisions? Evidence from Three Semi-Arid Communities in Burkina Faso, West Africa

1
West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, Ouagadougou 22650, Burkina Faso
2
Earth Institute, Columbia University in the City of New York, New York, NY 10027, USA
3
Center for Development Research, University of Bonn, Walter-Flex-Str. 3, 53113 Bonn, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract

This study examines the influence of farmers’ social capital on their decisions to deal with climate change and climate variability in Burkina Faso. The study is based on a household survey conducted among 450 households, randomly selected from three communities in Burkina Faso. Two indexes were constructed to capture farmers’ structural and cognitive social capital; and using generalized Poisson regression (GPR) and a multivariate probit model, the study probes the effect of farmers’ social capital on their choice of adaptation alternatives, the number of adaptation practices used, and the extent to which adaptation measures were applied. The results indicated that the effect of social capital depends on the type of indicator used and on the type of adaptation strategies necessary. Farmers’ cognitive social capital was significantly and positively related to their choice of soil and water conservation techniques (SWCT), and techniques such as agroforestry and irrigation. Structural social capital, on the other hand, was positively associated with the adoption of new varieties and conservation tillage strategies and negatively associated with the use of a crop-diversification strategy. The results also highlighted that socio-economic, institutional and agro-ecological variables determine farmers’ decisions to adapt to climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: smallholder farmers; climate change; social capital; adaptation; Burkina Faso smallholder farmers; climate change; social capital; adaptation; Burkina Faso
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Yaméogo, T.B.; Fonta, W.M.; Wünscher, T. Can Social Capital influence Smallholder Farmers’ Climate-Change Adaptation Decisions? Evidence from Three Semi-Arid Communities in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 33.

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