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Environments 2018, 5(8), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5080086

Coping with and Adapting to Climate Change: A Gender Perspective from Smallholder Farming in Ghana

1
Department of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University, Room 135, 480 Wilson Road, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
2
Center for Advanced Study of International Development, College of Social Science, Michigan State University, 427 N. Shaw Lane, Room 202, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 June 2018 / Revised: 21 July 2018 / Accepted: 21 July 2018 / Published: 25 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Ecosystem Services)
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Abstract

The negative impacts of climate change on agriculture could erode gains made toward gender equality in Ghana. Much of the literature on gender dimensions of climate change adaptation has focused on assessing differences in coping and adaptation practices of smallholder farmers. Mostly overlooked is whether gender influences influenced perception of effectiveness of adaptation practices and preferences for institutional support for future adaptation. Using key informant interviews, household surveys, and focus group discussions, we address these gaps by exploring coping and adaptation measures adopted by heads of farm households to counter climate change impacts on their livelihood activities and household well-being in the Guinea Savanna agroecological zone in Ghana. Additionally, we assessed the preferred institutional adaptation support of heads of farm households in adapting to future projected impacts. We find that female heads of farm households relied mainly on borrowed money from village savings and loans group as a coping measure; male heads of farm households depended primarily on sales of livestock. Varying planting and harvesting dates, crop diversification, and use of improved crop varieties were the major adaptation strategies adopted by farmers. We argue that provision of dams and/or dugouts, postharvest processing facilities, adaptation capacity-building resources, and improved access to markets and credit could enhance the adaptive capacity of male and female heads of farm households to mitigate projected climate change impacts on their livelihood activities and household well-being. View Full-Text
Keywords: gender; climate change adaptation; agriculture; food security gender; climate change adaptation; agriculture; food security
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Assan, E.; Suvedi, M.; Schmitt Olabisi, L.; Allen, A. Coping with and Adapting to Climate Change: A Gender Perspective from Smallholder Farming in Ghana. Environments 2018, 5, 86.

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