Determinants of Smallholder Farmers’ Adoption of Climate Change and Variability Adaptation Strategies: Evidence from Geze Gofa District, Gamo Gofa Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Tesfaye Samuel Saguye


The increasing trend of climate change has led to growing concern on its impact on different sectors of the economy particularly on agriculture. Coping with the vulnerability and negative effects of climate change on agriculture requires mitigation at the policy level and adaptation at the farm level. Adaptation does not occur without influence from other factors such as socio-economic, cultural, political, geographical, ecological and institutional that shapes the human-environment interactions.However, the ability of farmers to adopt the various adaptation strategies constrained by a number of factors. Therefore, this study identified the micro-level climate adaptation strategies adopted by farmers in Geze Gofa woreda and subsequently examined the determinants of farmers’ adoption of adaptation strategies to climate change and variability. The primary data used in this study were collected through semi-structured questionnaires administered to 222 randomly selected farmers. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in analyzing the data. Results show that about 62.25 % of the farmers adopted different strategies. To respond to these changes, farmers have adopted crop diversification, planting different crop varieties, changing planting and harvesting dates to correspond to the changing pattern of precipitation, irrigation, planting tree crops, water and soil conservation techniques, and switching to non-farm income activities. The major factors identified to be driving farmers' investment in adaptation practices were age, level of formal education and level of awareness of climate change issues. The major factors constraining them from adapting to climate change were poverty; farmland scarcity and inadequate access to more efficient inputs, lack of information and poor skills, land tenure and labour constraint.  Logit regression was used to identify factors that influence the strategies employed by famers for adaptation to climate change. The result of the logit model showed that annual farm income, farming experience, knowledge of climate information, education and extension access variables are significant determinants of climate change adaptation strategies. The study recommends the promulgation of policies to ensure that farmers have access to physical, human and social capital will enhance farmers’ ability to respond effectively to changing climate conditions. The findings underscore the need for farmers' education, awareness creation, poverty alleviation and increased access to more efficient inputs as potent tools for climate change adaptation in the area.

Keywords: Climate Change and variability, Adaptation strategies, Smallholder Farmers Determinants, Geze Gofa

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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