Building a framework towards climate-smart agriculture in the Yangambi landscape, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

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This paper aims to produce a framework for climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in the Yangambi landscape, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This would enable the authors to identify agricultural practices, assess vulnerability to climate change, identify options for improving agricultural systems from a climate change mitigation and adaptation perspective and finally provide climate-smart agricultural options. The study used household survey methods of data collection. The data were collected using a structured questionnaire survey by interviewing 250 farm households, subdivided using three axes of the Yangambi landscape. Fisher’s exact test was used to determine relationships between two or more variables. Results of the survey revealed that the vast majority (98%) of respondents perceived changes in temperature, rainfall and weather patterns. Reduction of crop yields and the emergence of new weed species and new crop pests are the main impacts on agricultural activities. Although 87.6% of respondents have no means of adaptation and resilience, some of them use crops rotation, fallow practice, fertilizers and bio-pesticides. A framework for CSA is proposed for the Yangambi landscape. Policies and strategies to promote CSA in the study area should take into account local farmers' perceptions of climate change and consider first the adequacy of CSA practices for the specific conditions of the target area before its promotion. This study is thus useful for many REDD+ initiatives that are currently being promoted in DRC and particularly in the Tshopo Province. This study is one of the first studies to focus on CSA in the Yangambi landscape, DRC. It assists the use of agriculture as a response to reducing deforestation while at the same time lowering agriculture’s carbon footprint and promoting a resilient and more productive farming system.

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