Subsistence farmer knowledge of strategies alleviating food insecurity in the context of climate change in the lower river region of the Gambia

Knowledge of strategies to improve farm household resilience to food insecurity and counter adverse weather events and poor resource endowment is a pre-requisite for implementing solutions fitting local conditions. This paper examines subsistence farmer knowledge of strategies to cope with food insecurity and progressive climate change in the Lower River Region of The Gambia. The study applies survey data collected from the predominantly agricultural, poorly urbanized region in 2017 with regard to knowledge of eleven strategies, nine strategies directly related to farm practices and two related strategies associated with insufficient food crop production. Farmer strategy knowledge is estimated using the logit technique and identified farmer, farm household, farm practice, and environmental characteristics and factors significantly influencing such knowledge. The calculation of probability changes quantified the effect associated with a particular factor on knowing a strategy. Formal education, secondary household activities, gender, government support, farm size, and income influence the knowledge of selected strategies. Additionally, knowledge of some strategies is also associated with certain practices, e.g., planting trees. Insights gained from the study into the factors driving illiterate, ultra-poor farmer knowledge of available strategies are of use for multiple stakeholders helping to channel their efforts to reduce food insecurity in the studied region, The Gambia, other regions, which share similar socioeconomic and environmental conditions.
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