Adoption and Effects of Climate Change Adaptation, and Land Use Decision of Smallholders Farmers in the Saline Area of Sine-Saloum, Fimela Senegal

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Soil salinity expansion is one of the most severe land degradation issues confronting farmers in Senegal, particularly in coastal areas such as Fimela. With sea level rise, temperature rise, and rainfall decrease, soil salinity is increasing significantly. It has a negative impact on crop yields and farmers' livelihoods. Farmers developed land use adaptation strategies to deal with soil salinity. Nonetheless, despite adaptations, some farmers continue to complain about the negative impact of soil salinity on their outcomes. Then, this study investigates farmers' adaptation, the different factors that influence it, its implications for smallholder farmers' livelihoods, and farmers' perception of soil salinity and its impact. Data from face-to-face interviews of 288 households using the Krejci and Morgan’s formula and GPS coordinates of households and each of their farms was collected. An agent-based model was used to understand land use adaptation to soil salinity expansion by considering farmers' perceptions of soil salinity expansion under climate change for simulation. A sub-model of household decisions, crop yield, and perception of soil salinity was developed and incorporated into the model. Three scenarios were considered to simulate the interaction between household agents and landscape agents over 25 years. Farmers' adoption is influenced by their assets and sociopsychological factors like threat assessment, coping assessment, and subjective norms. Farmers in Fimela do not have maladaptation thinking that may break their willingness to adopt strategies to cope with soil salinity. The ESR model shows that farmers' adoption of strategies to cope with soil salinity has a positive impact on groundnut yields and a negative influence on food security but has no significant effect on their millet yields. These findings have been validated by the simulation results, which show that the yield difference between farmers who perceive soil salinity expansion and those who do not is significant for groundnut but not millet over 25 years. As a result, it is critical to base policies in combating soil salinity effects on providing better methods of soil salinity adaptation strategies through scientific research. Policies should support a few pilot farmers in these precise and effective strategies to trigger other farmers to follow through the village and social influence by the farmer-to-farmer approach to enable farmers access and appropriation of these new methods.