Irrigation and climate information in Burkina Faso (AARC)
Since the 1970s, the Sahel has experienced a marked decline in rainfall and a high variability in the timing of the rainy season (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007). As a result, farmers have struggled to plan their crops and manage irrigation for food production. In Burkina Faso, many farmers have resorting to a mixture of traditional and modern agricultural techniques. Although these techniques have helped limit the impact of climate variability, continuous improvements are required in order to meet the increasing demand for food under conditions of uncertain water availability. This project, one of the African Adaptation Research Centres (AARC) projects supported by IDRC, seeks to reduce the farmers' vulnerability by improving food security in the context of climate change. Researchers will assess farmers' vulnerability to climate change, and the adaptation strategies that they currently employ. Then, they will develop and pilot test locally appropriate agricultural techniques at two sites in Burkina Faso with a view to minimizing the impacts of climate change. Both pilot sites - in the province of Yatenga and the city of Kongoussi (Bam province) - have similar geography and hydrology, a moderate level of food insecurity, and intense periods of drought. Parallel activities will include awareness-raising workshops for farmers, research awards and a revised curriculum for students at the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering (2iE).