Coping Strategies

People living in areas with agroclimatic seasonality have developed different strategies to cope with the environmental challenge. The earliest and most successful are aimed at maintaining an adequate level of food stocks, but when these fail, other more costly strategies are put in place and their presence indicates that a crisis is occurring.

The negative effects of seasonality can be prevented to a certain extent by selecting the appropriate crops, namely by using varieties with a shorter vegetative period and lower demand for water and by using reserve crops such as root crops, leguminous plants, and groundnuts. Manioc (Manihot esculenta) is used as a reserve crop in the Guinean zone, enset (E. ventricosum, false banana) is used in southern Ethiopia, and groundnuts (Arachis Hypo-gaea) in Sahel. Reliance on a single crop is highly risky, as failure of the crop due to a pest, a natural

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