Participatory Agroecological Assessment of Farmers’ Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change in Malawi

Authors: Darren Bardati*, Bishop's University
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Food Systems, Africa
Keywords: Agroecology, Participatory Action Research, Adaptive Capacity, Climate Change, Malawi
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The author of this study developed a heuristic technique called “participatory agroecological assessment” for
use by smallholder farmers in Malawi to examine their vulnerability to threats due to changing climatic conditions.
Rooted in a participatory action research paradigm, the author collected data jointly with Malawian farmers near
Chilanga, Kasungu District, through detailed observations of landscape and farm plot scale conditions, and through
interviews with key informants over the span of four weeks in June 2016. Farmers participated in workshops to co-construct
a set of twenty-four assessment indicators, based on contextually appropriate agroecological practices, to
perform the assessment. The findings of the assessment provide empirical evidence about the farming system’s
vulnerability to drought, while also serving as recommendations to guide farmers in their transition toward
agroecological practices, thereby enhancing their adaptive capacity to climate change.

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