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Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems

Climate Change, Social Changes, Technological Development

Ed. by Inostroza, Luis / Fürst, Christine

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Influence of smallholder farmers’ perceptions on adaptation strategies to climate change and policy implications in Zimbabwe

Obert Jiri
  • Corresponding author
  • Faculty of agriculture, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP 167, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
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/ Linda Mtali-Chafadza
  • University of Zimbabwe, Marondera College of Agriculture Sciences and Technology, P. O. Box 35, Marondera, Zimbabwe
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/ Paramu L. Mafongoya
  • School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, 3209, South Africa
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Published Online: 2017-08-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cass-2017-0005


Smallholder agricultural production is largely affected by climate change and variability. Despite the negative effects brought by climate variability, smallholder farmers are still able to derive livelihoods. An understanding of factors that influence farmers’ responses and adaptation to climate variability can improve decision making for governments and development partners. This study investigated farmers’ perceptions and adaptation strategies to climate change and how these influence adaptation policies at local level. A survey was conducted with 100 households randomly selected from Chiredzi district. Data collected was used to derive farmer perceptions to climate change as well as the influence of their perceptions and subsequent adaptation methods to ensuing local agricultural adaptation measures and policies. The results indicated that smallholder farmers perceived general reduction in long-term annual rainfall and rising local average temperatures. Adverse trends in rainfall and average temperature perceived by farmers were consistent with empirical data. These perceptions and other socio-economic factors helped to shape smallholder farmer agricultural adaptation strategies. Policy implications are that the government and development partners should seek ways to assist autonomous adaptations by farmers through investments in planned adaptation initiatives.

Keywords : farmer perceptions; climate change; adaptation; policy


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-08-04

Published in Print: 2017-01-26

Citation Information: Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 47–55, ISSN (Online) 2300-3669, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cass-2017-0005.

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