The impacts of environmental change on smallholder farmers
Agricultural production is being challenged by environmental change, including climate change and natural resource degradation, and associated negative impacts are often felt most in smallholder systems. Our work aims to understand the impacts of environmental change on smallholder agricultural production and ways that farmers may enhance production in the face of this change.
Adaptation and decision-making in response to environmental change
Farmers are facing unprecedented uncertainty, caused by changes in weather and climate and increased natural resource degradation. Yet farmers may be able to reduce the negative impacts of environmental change by adapting their cropping strategies. Our research examines how farmers perceive environmental change, whether they are adopting any strategies to cope with variability, and what the impacts of these strategies are on yield and the environment.
Mapping smallholder farms
Remote sensing offers a low-cost way to obtain crop production statistics across large spatial and temporal scales. Yet it has been difficult to map the production of smallholder farms, given that the size of an individual field (< 2 ha) is typically smaller than the spatial resolution of most readily-available satellite imagery (e.g. Landsat, MODIS). Our work develops new methods and uses new micro-satellite data that provide high spatial and temporal resolution imagery to map the production of smallholder farms.
Satellites for sustainable agriculture
One way to enhance sustainable agricultural production is to target interventions and adaptation strategies to those farmers who would benefit most from a given strategy. We are using satellite data to help identify potential interventions and target these interventions to the most appropriate locations and farmers. We also use satellite data to measure the impacts of these interventions, giving us a low-cost way to do impact evaluation.