CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION BY FARMERS IN CHINGECHURU WARD, MBERENGWA DISTRICT, ZIMBABWE

Takura Kwami, Tanyaradzwa Chigonda, Tendekai Rusena

Abstract


The study sought to assess the impact of climate change on agriculture in Chingechuru ward in Mberengwa District, and the adaptation strategies by the farmers in the study area. A questionnaire, key informant interviews and observation were used in collecting primary data for the study. Quantitative data from the questionnaire were analysed using descriptive statistics presented in tabular form, while qualitative data were analysed narratively through content analysis. Various adverse impacts of climate change on farming were identified including, inter alia, increased incidences of livestock and crop pests and diseases, shorter rainy seasons and insufficient seasonal rains characterised by mid-season dry spells, and more frequent severe floods which often destroy crop fields. The farmers in Chingechuru have adopted various adaptation strategies to climate change such as the growing of drought resistant crop varieties, growing of early maturing varieties, staggering of planting dates and improved grain storage among other adaptation strategies. However, due to various constraints including lack of resources and ineffective extension services, the majority of the farmers in the study area have not adopted the various climate change adaptation strategies. There is need for increasing the number of agricultural extension workers in the study area so as to make extension services more effective. This will raise climate change adaptation knowledge among the farmers as a result of more favourable extension worker to farmer ratios. Government, acting as guarantor, could also facilitate access to low-interest loans by eligible farmers so as to enhance their adaptation capacity to climate change, as lack of capital has also been identified as a major impediment to climate change adaptation. With rains becoming more erratic and resulting in increased water stress in the study area, small-scale irrigation schemes could be promoted through the construction of small dams or the drilling of boreholes.

 

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Keywords


climate change, climate variability, adaptation, agriculture, vulnerability, constraints, water stress, food security

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejsss.v0i0.418

Copyright (c) 2018 Takura Kwami, Tanyaradzwa Chigonda, Tendekai Rusena

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