Greenhouse gas emission reduction in agriculture: trade-off or win-win situation for small farmers in the Sudanian area of Burkina Faso?


Réduire les risques et renforcer la résilience : l’environnement et le changement climatique, les mécanismes d’assurance, les conflits (la terre, l’eau)


  • Tiertou Edwige SOME

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Agriculture can contribute to carbon mitigation by storing more carbon in the soil through greener cropping systems and by planting perennials and by raising livestock differently. A growing number of researchers have started to investigate how developing countries agriculture can contribute to these objectives. If farmers reduce their GHG emission and increase their carbon sequestration will it be a win-outcome where the new techniques will finally improve farmers’ income? The study aims to assess whether mitigation strategies will imply a trade-off between environmental and economic objectives or a win-win situation. This study is applied to the case of small farmers in Burkina Faso using an analyse programming model, in which the farmers maximize their utility subject to constraints as emission limitation, land, labour, capital and food consumption.

The results show when the farmers produce only annual crops, integrating the emission reduction in their system impacts negatively their net cash income, compared to the baseline scenario. By integrating perennial crops in the farming system, the farmers’ utility is higher than their utility when their produce only annual crops. Also, the net carbon balance is positive. Around 6.118tCO2eq is sequestrated individually, then agroforestry is a win-win situation for small farmers, while emission reduction in annual crops is a trade-off. Policymakers should encourage small farmers to adopt agroforestry, or to integrate perennial crops in their annual cropping systems. Most small farmers are living below the poverty line. Limiting the emission from annual crop activities could worsen their living conditions. To reach the emission reduction objectives in the annual crops system, some incentives are needed in order to compensate the income lost.

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