Perception of climate change and its impact by smallholders in pastoral/agropastoral systems of Borana, South Ethiopia
Debela, N and Mohammed, C and Bridle, K and Corkrey, R and McNeil, D, Perception of climate change and its impact by smallholders in pastoral/agropastoral systems of Borana, South Ethiopia, SpringerPlus, 4 Article 236. ISSN 2193-1801 (2015) [Refereed Article]
This study investigates the perception of historic changes in climate and associated impact on local agriculture among smallholders in pastoral/agropastoral systems of Borana in southern Ethiopia. We drew on empirical data obtained from farm household surveys conducted in 5 districts, 20 pastoral/agropastoral associations and 480 farm households. Using this data, this study analyses smallholders’ perception of climate change and its associated impact on local agriculture, and the effect of various household and farm attributes on perception. Results suggest that most participants perceived climatic change and its negative impact on agricultural and considered climate change as a salient risk to their future livelihoods and economic development. Different levels of perception were expressed in terms of climate change and the impact on traditional rain-fed agriculture. Age, education level, livestock holding, access to climate information and extension services significantly affected perception levels. Household size, production system, farm and non-farm incomes did not significantly affect perception levels of smallholders. Smallholders attributed climate change to a range of biophysical, deistic and anthropogenic causes. Increased access to agricultural support services, which improves the availability and the quality of relevant climate information will further enhance awareness of climate change within of the rural community and result in better management of climate-induced risks in these vulnerable agricultural systems.