Farmer Perceptions of Drought

A recent Oasis study in Burkina Faso (Slegers et al. 2004) found that farmers' perceptions of drought differ significantly from those of research institutions. Farmers are more focused on the agricultural and local-context effects of drought (crop stress, local variations in stress) whereas researchers tend to concentrate on the regional and meteorological aspects (regional rainfall and temperature patterns, soil erosion and impoverishment). To be more relevant, researchers need to translate their macro-level observations into micro-level recommendations that can help farmers reduce their vulnerability under the particular conditions of their own plots.

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