Factors affecting farmers' coping and adaptation strategies to perceived trends of declining rainfall and crop productivity in the central Rift valley of Ethiopia uri icon

abstract

  • Background: Farmers apply several and often different farmer-specific strategies to cope with and adapt to the perceived trend of declining rainfall and crop productivity. A better understanding of the factors affecting farmers? coping and adaptation strategies to counteract both trends is crucial for policies and programs that aim at promoting successful rainfed agriculture in Ethiopia. The objective of this study was to identify the major factors that affect farmers? coping and adaption strategies to rainfall variability and reduction in crop yield in the central Rift valley (CRV) of Ethiopia. A survey was conducted among 240 randomly selected farmers within six kebeles in the CRV using structured and pretested questionnaires. Multivariate probit (MVP) regression model was used to identify these key factors that affect farmers? coping and adaptation strategies to the declining trends of rainfall and crop productivity. Results: Generally, this study identified several factors that affect farmers? choices of certain strategies, which can be grouped in four major factors: (1) livestock and landholdings, (2) availability of labour and knowledge, (3) access to information, and (4) social and cultural factors. Farmers with better resources, labour, knowledge, access to information and social capital had better coping and adaptation strategies to the declining rainfall and crop productivity. Conclusions: To conclude, improving farmers? asset accumulation, access to information and knowledge are needed. Moreover, strengthening social capital and labour sharing institutions in the CRV is crucial to increase farmers? capacities to cope with and adapt to environmental changes such as rainfall and crop yield variability

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016