alexa Smallholder Farmer Perceptions on Climate Change and Variability: A Predisposition for their Subsequent Adaptation Strategies
ISSN: 2157-7617

Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change
Open Access

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Research Article

Smallholder Farmer Perceptions on Climate Change and Variability: A Predisposition for their Subsequent Adaptation Strategies

Jiri O1*, Mafongoya P2 and Chivenge P3
1School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences,University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, 3209, South Africa
2University of Zimbabwe, Faculty of Agriculture, P. O. Box MP167, Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
3International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, P O Box 776, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Corresponding Author : Jiri O
University of Zimbabwe
Faculty of Agriculture
P. O. Box MP167, Mt Pleasant
Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel: +263772528178
Email: [email protected]
Received April 27, 2015; Accepted May 28, 2015; Published June 08, 2015
Citation: Jiri O, Mafongoya P, Chivenge P (2015) Smallholder Farmer Perceptions on Climate Change and Variability: A Predisposition for their Subsequent Adaptation Strategies. J Earth Sci Clim Change 6:277. doi: 10.4172/2157-7617.1000277
Copyright: © 2015 Jiri O, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Smallholder farmers are facing several climate-related challenges. Projected changes in climate are expected to aggravate the existing challenges. This study was conducted in Chiredzi district, Masvingo, Zimbabwe. The study objective was to examine farmer perceptions on climate variability, current adaptive strategies and establish factors influencing smallholder farmers’ adaptation to climate change. A survey was conducted with 100 randomly selected respondents from four wards. Additionally, data was collected through focus group discussions and key informant interviews. The results showed that farmers perceived that there has been a decrease in annual rainfall and an increase in average temperatures. A linear trend analysis of rainfall and temperature data from 1980 to 2011 corroborated the farmers’ perceptions. Farmers’ adaptation options included adjusting planting dates and crop diversification. Off-farm income has reduced the dependence of the farmers on agriculture. A multinomial regression analysis showed that socioeconomic factors such as gender, age, number of cattle owned, land size and average crop yields influenced farmer adaptation strategies. The study concludes that although farmers are diverse in their socio-economic attributes, they exhibit homogeneous perceptions on changes in climate, which are consistent with observations of empirical climate data. These perceptions help to shape smallholder farmer coping and adaptation strategies.

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