Volume : 1, Issue : 1, DEC 2017

ANALYSIS OF SMALLHOLDER FARMERS’ PERCEPTION OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND VARIABILITY AND IT’S IMPLICATION FOR ADOPTION OF CLIMATE-SMART AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES: THE CASE OF GEZE GOFA DISTRICT IN GAMO GOFA ZONE, SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA.

Tesfaye Samuel Saguye

Abstract

Smallholder farmers are highly vulnerable to the impacts climate change, due to their dependence on agriculture for their livelihoods, reliance on rain-fed crops and location in marginal lands. Farmers have to perceive first that the climate has changed, and then identify effective and efficient climate change-smart agricultural practices climate and implement them. The main purpose of this study was to analyze factors determining the smallholder farmers’ perception of climate change and variability and it’s implication for adoption of climate change-smart agricultural practices. The study was conducted in three distinct agro-ecologies in Geze Gofa Woreda in Gamo Gofa zone, southern Ethiopia. A multi stage sampling procedure followed to select sample respondent households and the total sample size of the study was 138 households. This study employed both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection. Primary data were collected by using semi-structured interview schedule, focus group discussion (FGDs) and key informant interviews. Logistic regression model was used to estimate household demographic, socio-economic, institutional and geophysical factors that determine the farmers’ perception of climate change and variability in the area. The results indicated that about 88.73% of farmers believe that temperature in the district had become warmer and over 90% were of the recognized that rainfall volume, pattern , distribution and timing had changed, resulting in increased frequency of drought. From the findings of the logistic analyses, the local socio-economic, institutional and agro-ecological and the information on weather and climate were significant in determining the likelihood of a good perception and knowledge of climate change and variability. To enhance rural farmers’ awareness and adoption of climate change adaptation techniques, more focus should therefore be given to socio-economic (farm experience, education and training, access to weather related information household size, wealth, land ownership) factors as suggested by model results. So, effective communication, active community involvement and considering socio-cultural factors such as religious practices and rituals could be areas of policy implication of the study. Though the majority of the responders perceived climate change 62.56 percent of the total respondents adopted climate change-smart agricultural practices such as while the remaining 37.5 percent had not adapted any climate change-smart agricultural practices. This could imply that though perception is the frontline prerequisite sequentially for adoption of climate change-smart agricultural practices decisions, it is not cure-all alone.

Keywords

Climate Change, Climate Change- Smart Agriculture, Smallholder, Perception.

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