Vulnerability of Peasant Farmers to Climate Variability and Change in Semi-Arid Ethiopia

Muluken Andemo Gallo, Johnson O. Ayoade, Ibidun O. Adelekan


Vulnerability study identifies the most vulnerable systems, regions, peoples, and the contributing factors to the vulnerability. Vulnerability study in climate change context is crucial to effectively and efficiently reduce the impacts of climate variability and change. This study assessed the vulnerability of peasant farmers to climate variability and change in semi-arid Ethiopia. The semi-arid zone was categorized into southern, central, and northern semi-arid. From each semi-arid zone, sample districts and sample peasant associations were selected respectively by manual lottery and purposive sampling techniques. 396 household surveys, 12 focus group discussions, and rainfall and temperature data were used for analysis. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used as the main analysis technique to construct the vulnerability indices. The central semi-arid zone with the vulnerability index of -3.07 was highly vulnerable at χ²(2) =43.9986, P ≤ 0.05, while the northern semi-arid zone with the vulnerability index of 4.83 was the least vulnerable. The lack of access to a clean drinking water source, main road, and market center were among the factors that contributed to farmers’ vulnerability to climate variability and change in central semi-arid Ethiopia. The lack of access to information, small farmland holding size, and lack of multipurpose trees on the farmland are among the factors that have to be addressed in northern semi-arid even if it is relatively the least vulnerable. The level of farmers’ vulnerability to climate variability and change and the contributing factors to farmers’ vulnerability varies in semi-arid Ethiopia. Vulnerability reduction measures need to be specific to each semi-arid zone and priority needs to be given according to their degree of vulnerability.

Keywords: Peasant Farmers, Vulnerability, Climate Change, Semi-Arid Ethiopia

DOI: 10.7176/JEES/10-5-07

Publication date:May 31st 2020

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

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