IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The perception of and adaptation to climate change in Africa

  • Maddison, David

The objective of this paper is to determine the ability of farmers in Africa to detect climate change, and to ascertain how they have adapted to whatever climate change they believe has occurred. The paper also asks farmers whether they perceive any barriers to adaptation and attempts to determine the characteristics of those farmers who, despite claiming to have witnessed climate change, have not yet responded to it. The study is based on a large-scale survey of agriculturalists in 11 African countries. The survey reveals that significant numbers of farmers believe that temperatures have already increased and that precipitation has declined. Those with the greatest experience of farming are more likely to notice climate change. Further, neighboring farmers tell a consistent story. There are important differences in the propensity of farmers living in different locations to adapt and there may be institutional impediments to adaptation in some countries. Although large numbers of farmers perceive no barriers to adaptation, those that do perceive them tend to cite their poverty and inability to borrow. Few if any farmers mentioned lack of appropriate seed, security of tenure, or market accessibility as problems. Those farmers who perceive climate change but fail to respond may require particular incentives or assistance to do what is ultimately in their own best interests. Although experienced farmers are more likely to perceive climate change, it is educated farmers who are more likely to respond by making at least one adaptation.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4308.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4308
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4308. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.