Form Submission: Participation Entry

Agricultural adaptations to climate change have become a key focus in recent development initiatives in Zambia as increasingly variable temperature and precipitation patterns threaten the resiliency of rainfed smallholder agricultural systems. Such agricultural adaptations to climate change often center around the diffusion of ‘new and improved’ agricultural technologies, increasing farmer access to markets, and teaching ‘farming as a business’ as a means to improve livelihoods. As these development efforts embody climate discourse, climate change in effect becomes an object around which development and adaptation knowledges are constructed. This knowledge base, in turn, simultaneously becomes a renewed justification for agricultural intervention within rural communities as well as a vehicle for recycled Green Revolution ideologies and technologies that maintain inequitable power and market relations. This study seeks to critically examine how climate change knowledge is constructed and utilized by smallholder farmers and development actors in Zambia and how it is utilized within the context of agricultural climate change adaptation. I argue that current agricultural development in Zambia and dominant ‘climate smart’ agricultural adaptation strategies can reinforce development-induced scarcity by embedding smallholder farmers into extractive commodity cropping systems. Within this argument, I aim to elucidate the differences that exist in climate renderings between development entities and smallholder farmers and examine how existing development approaches may be hindering smallholder farmer’s creative adaptive capacities to cope with climate change.