Monday 5
Dialogue on Climate-resilient Farming Practices, Agroecology and Food Sovereignty
Jean-MArc Touzard, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Hanson Nyantakyi-Frimpong, Laifolo Dakishoni, Sieglinde Snapp
› 11:05 - 18:00 (6h55)
› Murviel-lès-Montpellier
How do foreign direct investments in agriculture influence the vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change? Empirical evidence from Northern Ghana.
Marcus Kaplan  1, *@  , Isabel Van De Sand  1@  
1 : German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik  (DIE)  -  Website
Tulpenfeld 6 53113 Bonn -  Allemagne
* : Corresponding author

Vulnerability and adaptive capacity are commonly applied and interlinked concepts when analyzing the impacts of global environmental change in general and of climate change in particular on socio-ecological systems. However, these concepts are hazard and context-specific, i.e. vulnerability and adaptive capacity are dependent on specific socio-economic and biophysical characteristics and their interaction with external hazards. Climate change hereby acts as one hazard that may interact with a range of other hazards. Therefore, the objective of this study was to link two hazards by analyzing the impact of a foreign direct investment (FDI) in agriculture on the vulnerability of the affected people to climate variability and climate change.

FDIs in agriculture have received considerable attention in recent years, especially in the context of the “land-grabbing” debate, due to their potentially negative impacts on local livelihoods, which may also increase the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climate-related hazards. Smallholders in Sub-Sahara Africa are already particularly vulnerable to climate variability and change, as they are to a large extent dependent on rain-fed agriculture and the provision of ecosystem services for their livelihoods. On the other hand, sustainable and inclusive FDIs might also benefit livelihoods through increased financial input and transfer of technological know-how, thereby potentially increasing local adaptive capacities.

To analyze the effects of an FDI on the vulnerability of farmers to deal with climate variability and change, we selected the case of the Ghanaian-Dutch Integrated Tamale Fruit Company (ITFC) in northern Ghana. ITFC established a nucleus mango farm of 160 ha together with an outgrower scheme in 1999. The scheme consists of 1,100 outgrowers, with one acre each, located in about 40 villages around the nucleus. The company also runs a processing facility for the harvested fruits and currently employs a total of around 380 people.

For the purpose of this study, we conceptualized vulnerability as a composite of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity, in line with the IPCC´s definition of vulnerability. When analyzing adaptive capacity, we made use of the asset categories of the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework. We also applied the Adaptive Capacity Framework developed by ODI, which in addition to the asset base also considers the following characteristics: institutions and entitlements, knowledge and information, innovation, and flexible forward-thinking decision making and governance.

Data for the vulnerability assessment were collected through detailed surveys with 170 households in 10 randomly selected villages in which outgrowers are present. We targeted an equal number of outgrower and non-outgrower households in each village to identify differences in vulnerability between these two groups. Furthermore, we conducted focus group discussions with villagers to shed further light on their perception of climate change, the utilization and importance of ecosystem services for local livelihoods and the impact of ITFC. Additional focus group discussions were held with ITFC employees of the processing facility. Finally, interviews with the ITFC management, representatives of the Organic Mango Outgrower Association (OMOA), and local decision makers were conducted. The data was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively through descriptive and explorative statistics.

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