How climate-smart is the FMNR practice: co-benefits that lead to food security in Niger drylands
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Farmer Managed Regeneration (FMR) is a set of practices used by farmers on agricultural land to develop the growth of native trees. FMNR is reported to deliver a number of positive impacts, increasing incomes through the sale of products, and agricultural productivity through improvements in soil fertility. Although all the evidence seems to indicate that FMNR is beneficial for crop and livestock production, additional research was needed to explore, and quantify, the climate change mitigation potential of FMNR. Farms where farmers maintain and protect their trees would have lager carbon stocks, so the practice would lead to C sequestration. This study aimed at estimating the effects of FMNR on food security, land productivity and potential for climate change mitigation, ingredients of a climate-smart agricultural practice. For this purpose, we conducted field research in the Fakara region of Niger, where we evaluated the performance of farm households, estimated their food security status, associated with practice of FMNR at different intensity to test the hypothesis that farmers who practice FMNR achieve higher food security and food self-sufficiency than farmers who do not practice and that these effects are explained through a positive effect on farm productivity and on incomes.