Climate Change Shocks Sensitivity Index of Smallholder Farmers Engaged in Farming and Non-Farming Activities in Kinakomba Ward, Tana River County, Kenya

Peter Ndegwa, Andrew W. Wamukota, Annie H. Ong’ayo


Understanding the future of smallholder farmers of Kinakomba Ward in Tana River is critical to the design and development of policies. One of the major concerns is establishing how sensitive these farmers are to climate change shocks. This study sought to determine sensitivity index of smallholder farmers that rely on rainfed agriculture and nonfarming activities to climate change related shocks with the intent of formulating appropriate programmes and policies. A descriptive survey research design was used. Stratified random sampling was employed to select 390 households. The qualitative and quantitative data collected using questionnaires was analysed by use of metric of sensitivity and chi-square goodness of fit test. The study revealed that smallholder farmers who relied on farming activity alone had a sensitivity of 43.17% to climate change related shocks while those who rely on non-farming activities had a sensitivity of 36.40%. When the households engage in both farming and non-farming, the sensitivity will increase by 21.20% due to the interactions between the two activities. Although the sensitivity percentage for the farmers who engaged in the two activities is low, sensitivity was statistically significant (P=0.00038).  Further findings showed that the ratio of farming to nonfarming was 0.58 and those households dependent on farming and engaged in nonfarming was 0.45 and when they engage in both activities at the same time, they were more sensitive at 0.942. Despite the significance sensitivity to climate change related shocks, farming sector was ranked as more important (81.5%) than other livelihood activities. The study concluded that sensitivity of the smallholder farmers to climate change related shocks had a significant influence on their livelihoods. The County Government in partnership with stakeholders develops interventions of adaptation options and empowerment of farmers with skills in diversification of livelihoods options.

Keywords: Climate change related shocks, Farming, Sensitivity index, Smallholder Farmers

DOI: 10.7176/FSQM/93-06

Publication date: January 31st 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

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