Agricultural livelihood systems (ALS) typology for coping with socio-ecological diversity in ALS transition research: A demonstrative case in Pontieba, south-western Burkina Faso
Smallholder farms’ populations are characterized by their heterogeneity giving the diversity of farms’ livelihood settings. Integrated farming system modelling therefore requires a preliminary clear identification of the farm types in a location and for a given population. The main objective of the present study was to formulate empirical agricultural livelihood typology in the village of Pontieba for the purpose of integrated farming livelihood modelling in West African drylands. We used a multivariate analysis combining PCA to K-CA, and expert knowledge to identify agricultural livelihood types in Pontieba. Based on the Sustainable Livelihood Framework, a multidimensional dataset of 108 households was collected through face-to-face interviews. The results showed that the main variables discriminating agricultural livelihoods in Pontieba were human (labor, labor age, education and dependency), natural (land holdings and livestock), financial (annual gross income, and non-fam income) assets, and production orientation (cotton and marketable food crops production). Three agricultural livelihood types were identified: Poor, landless and subsistence-based farms, Medium-income, high-dependency, cotton-and livestock-turned farms, and Better-off, land-and labour-rich, cotton-and livestock-turned farms. The study recommends the use of this typology for policy intervention and further systems analysis and modelling in the village of Pontieba.