Factors influencing farmers’ awareness and choice of adaptation strategies to climate change by smallholder crop farmers
Climate variability is a global phenomenon and its effects on agricultural productivity have been experienced by developing countries drastically. Climate differences such as high temperatures, drought and long seasons have led to a loss in food production through crop failure, water stress, and human disease outbreak. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate factors influencing farmers’ awareness and choice of adaptation strategies to climate variability by smallholder crop farmers in Libode, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Primary data were purposively collected from 120 smallholder crop farmers. Binary logistic regression was used to estimate factors influencing farmers’ awareness while Multinomial logistic regression was used to estimate the choice of adaptation strategies employed by crop farmers. Results showed that farmers have perceived climate change and have adapted to changing climatic conditions. The empirical results have showed that socio-economic factors such as years spent in school, land size, farm experience, and extension services affect farmers' awareness positively while age has a negative influence. Few farmers have adjusted their farming practices to account for the effects of climate change. Thus, the study identifies crop diversification and agroforestry as being the most promising strategies with benefits for farmers, the environment and future generations. The government should develop policies aimed at providing and enhancing farmers’ knowledge on climate change. Farmers are encouraged to form farm organizations and be active as to serve as a platform to share knowledge on indigenous and technological farming practices for effective climate change adaptation.
Climate variability, awareness, crop productivity, adaptation strategies, Binary Model, Libode.
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