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Understanding farmers' perceptions and adaptations to climate change and variability: The case of the Limpopo Basin, South Africa

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  • Gbetibouo, Glwadys Aymone

Abstract

"Climate change is expected to have serious environmental, economic, and social impacts on South Africa. In particular, rural farmers, whose livelihoods depend on the use of natural resources, are likely to bear the brunt of adverse impacts. The extent to which these impacts are felt depends in large part on the extent of adaptation in response to climate change. This research uses a “bottom-up” approach, which seeks to gain insights from the farmers themselves based on a farm household survey. Farm-level data were collected from 794 households in the Limpopo River Basin of South Africa for the farming season 2004–2005. The study examines how farmer perceptions correspond with climate data recorded at meteorological stations in the Limpopo River Basin and analyzes farmers' adaptation responses to climate change and variability. A Heckman probit model and a multinomial logit (MNL) model are used to examine the determinants of adaptation to climate change and variability. The statistical analysis of the climate data shows that temperature has increased over the years. Rainfall is characterized by large interannual variability, with the previous three years being very dry. Indeed, the analysis shows that farmers' perceptions of climate change are in line with the climatic data records. However, only approximately half of the farmers have adjusted their farming practices to account for the impacts of climate change. Lack of access to credit was cited by respondents as the main factor inhibiting adaptation. The results of the multinomial logit and Heckman probit models highlighted that household size, farming experience, wealth, access to credit, access to water, tenure rights, off-farm activities, and access to extension are the main factors that enhance adaptive capacity. Thus, the government should design policies aimed at improving these factors. " from authors' abstract

Suggested Citation

  • Gbetibouo, Glwadys Aymone, 2009. "Understanding farmers' perceptions and adaptations to climate change and variability: The case of the Limpopo Basin, South Africa," IFPRI discussion papers 849, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:849
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    Cited by:

    1. Fernando M. Aragón & Francisco Oteiza & Juan Pablo Rud, 2018. "Climate Change and Agriculture: Farmer Adaptation to Extreme Heat," Discussion Papers dp18-02, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    2. Alam, Khorshed, 2015. "Farmers’ adaptation to water scarcity in drought-prone environments: A case study of Rajshahi District, Bangladesh," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 196-206.
    3. repec:spr:climat:v:142:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10584-017-1924-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Stephen Shisanya & Paramu Mafongoya, 2016. "Adaptation to climate change and the impacts on household food security among rural farmers in uMzinyathi District of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(3), pages 597-608, June.
    5. Bryan, Elizabeth & Behrman, Julia A., 2013. "Community–based adaptation to climate change: A theoretical framework, overview of key issues and discussion of gender differentiated priorities and participation:," CAPRi working papers 109, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Andrew Barnes & Luiza Toma, 2012. "A typology of dairy farmer perceptions towards climate change," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 112(2), pages 507-522, May.
    7. Ndambiri, Hilary K. & Ritho, Cecilia N. & Mbogoh, Stephen G., 1. "An Evaluation Of Farmers’ Perceptions Of And Adaptation To The Effects Of Climate Change In Kenya," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 1.
    8. Kahsay, Goytom Abraha & Hansen, Lars Gårn, 2016. "The effect of climate change and adaptation policy on agricultural production in Eastern Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 54-64.
    9. Alauddin, Mohammad & Sarker, Md Abdur Rashid, 2014. "Climate change and farm-level adaptation decisions and strategies in drought-prone and groundwater-depleted areas of Bangladesh: an empirical investigation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 204-213.
    10. Hermann Comoé & Michael Siegrist, 2015. "Relevant drivers of farmers’ decision behavior regarding their adaptation to climate change: a case study of two regions in Côte d’Ivoire," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 179-199, February.
    11. Nanda Kaji Budhathoki, 2017. "Climate Change: Perceptions, Reality and Agricultural Practice: Evidence from Nepal," Working Papers id:11903, eSocialSciences.
    12. Zuluaga, Victor & Labarta, Ricardo & Läderach, Peter, 2015. "Climate Change Adaptation: The case of the Coffee Sector in Nicaragua," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205875, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    13. Guloba, Madina, 2014. "Adaptation to climate variability and change in Uganda: Are there gender differences across households?," WIDER Working Paper Series 107, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Shongwe, Phindile & Masuku, Micah B. & Manyatsi, Absalom M., 2014. "Cost Benefit Analysis of Climate Change Adaptation Strategies on Crop Production Systems: A Case of Mpolonjeni Area Development Programme (ADP) in Swaziland," Sustainable Agriculture Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 3(1).
    15. Ngoma, Hambulo & Mulenga, Brian P. & Jayne, Thomas S., 2013. "Determinants and Extent of Use of Minimum Tillage Practices among Zambian Smallholder Crop Farmers from 2008 to 2012," 2013 AAAE Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 161210, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).

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    Keywords

    Climate change; Climate variability; Perception; Adaptation; Agriculture;

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