Return to site

ARISER project funded by ERC

Access to crop diversity and small farms’ resilience to climate variability

in African drylands: The role of seed and information networks

This was a long journey, but it was worth it: my project on the role of seed and information networks in smallholder farmers' access to crop diversity and their resilience to climate variability (ARISER) has been funded by the European Research Council (Starting grant call). This project will be funded for 5 years and will take place in semi-arid areas in Morocco, Senegal and Madagascar. Calls for Phd will soon be published !

ABSTRACT: Crop diversity is a key resource for smallholder farmers in drylands, as it plays amajor role in their resilience by stabilizing crop production in the face of climate variability. Although access to crop diversity is pivotal for these farmers, the processes driving access are not fully understood. Previous research indicates that access to crop diversity may rely on the social networks through which crop seeds and information are diffused. These networks display a wide diversity of patterns, including differences in the composition of the actors involved and in the structure of the pathways through which seeds and information diffuse. Understanding the consequences of these different network patterns for crop diversity and their implication for farm resilience is a crucial and timely challenge. In this project, I will address this challenge by combining theory and methods from agroecology and social network research to tackle three objectives: (1) identify the most critical network patterns to maintain high crop diversity on farms over time or to change crops, (2) assess the relation between network patterns and temporal stability of crop production at the farm level, and (3) assess how farmers’ socioeconomic characteristics affect their access to diversified seeds and information. To reach these objectives, I will (i) design a standardized protocol to collect longitudinal and panel data across three dryland areas in Africa, which could serve as a reference for future studies, (ii) build an innovative simulation model combining agent-based and network approaches, and (iii) develop new statistical methods for network analysis. This project will enable a major advance in our understanding of the processes driving farmers’ access to crop diversity and their resilience. By doing so, it will contribute to improve decision-making for smallholder farmers adaptation to increased climate variability in drylands.  

By bridging theories andmethods from agroecology and social network research, ARISER will advance ourunderstanding of the linkages between seed and information networks, crop diversity and farms’ resilience in drylands. This project will make groundbreaking contributions to the field of sustainability sciences with potential applications to decision-making to enhance the adaptive capacity of agricultural systems, and panel SH7 “human mobility environment and space” is hence particularly appropriate for its evaluation. The innovative nature of ARISER is to provide a general assessment on a poorly investigated issue with major implications for agricultural decision-making and smallholders’ adaptation in drylands in the face of increased climate variability. These goals will be achieved by designing a standardized data collection protocol that can then be used for future research, and by developing adapted simulation modeling and statistical analysis methods, based on innovative approaches. 


All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly