Climate variability and the adaptive capacity of the rural farmers

The case of Matobo District- Zimbabwe 2016 to 2017 rainy season

  • Mark Bolak Funteh The University of Bamenda
  • Annamary Ncube, Miss The PAN African University, SOA
Keywords: Adaptive capacity, climate variability, climate change and rainy season

Abstract

This paper evaluates the adaptive capacity of rural farmers in the midst of climate variability in 2016 to 2017 rainy season in Matobo district. Climate variability has emerged as a major global crisis of the 21st century because of its past, present and projected environmental and socio-economic impacts. The shift in climatic conditions over the Sub-Saharan Region towards semi-arid to arid conditions has stemmed up a lot of concern as to whether Africa can adapt well to these climatic conditions. The past three decades have been characterized by an erratic rainfall pattern over Africa’s sub-tropics and a significant decline in the amount of rainfall. This has resulted in droughts which have significantly affected agriculture and food production. Crops have failed to quickly adapt to these harsh climatic conditions. Research on the impacts of climate variability in Zimbabwe shows that the country’s agricultural sector is already suffering from changing rainfall pattern. In as much climate variability is affecting everyone directly or indirectly, farmers worldwide are at the forefront. This is mainly because their livelihoods are mostly hit by ever changing climate variations. Some research have shown the adaptation strategies that farmers have employed as a result of variations in rainfall and temperatures patterns. Mostly in Matobo district, these variations of rainfall and temperature patterns are mainly low rainfall and high temperature for the past decades with the exception of year 2011 and 2012 which experienced moderate rainfall during the rainy season. As a result of these climatic conditions in the district of low rainfall and high temperature patterns that were easy predicated even by farmers, farmers had developed innovations with institutions to curb low rains which were being experienced in the district. However, 2016 to 2017 rainy season posed a change in climatic conditions in the district. The district experienced heavy rains throughout the season. As a result of this climatic variation of 2016 to 2017 rainy season, this paper seek to evaluate how farmers in Matobo district were able to adapt to this change as they were mainly used to low rainfall patterns and have further developed adaptive strategies to curb low rains in the district. This papers will highlight the effects of high rainfall patterns on farmers crops, the adaptive capacity of farmers to high rainfall of 2016 to 2017 rainy season and asses the role of institutions towards the adaptive capacity of farmers.

 

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Annamary Ncube, Miss, The PAN African University, SOA

Annamary Ncube is a Ph.D research Fellow at the Pan African University, Soa, Cameroon

References

Adger, W. N.(2003). Social aspects of adaptive capacity. Climate change, Adaptive capacity and

Development. In J. B. Smith, R. J. T. Klein and S. Huq (Eds.), Imperial College Press, London.

P.29–50.

Adger, N., Khan, S. and Brooks, N. (2003) Measuring and enhancing adaptive capacity. New

York: UNDP (www.undp.org/cc/apf-outline.htm).

Agricultural, Technical and Extension Services Kezi (2016) Report on Crop and Livestock

Production in Kezi, AGRITEX Kezi

Ali, A., (1999). Climate change impacts and adaptation assessment in Bangladesh. In: National

Assessment Results of Climate Change:Impacts and Responses: CR Special 6 [Mimura, N.

(ed.)]. Inter-research, Oldendorf, Germany, pp. 109–116.

Ayers, Jessica M. and Huq, Saleemul (2009) ‘Supporting Adaptation to Climate Change: What

Role for Official Development Assistance?’,Development Policy Review 27 (6): 675-692.

Bapna, M. and McGray, H. (2008) Financing Adaptation: Opportunities for Innovation and

Experimentation. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute

Below, T.B., Mutabazi K.D., Kirschke D., Franke C., Sieber S., Siebert R. andTscherning K. level

(2011) “Can farmers’ adaptation to climate change be explainedby socio-economic

household-variables?” Global Environmental Change,22(2012) 223-235.

Below, T., Artner, A., Siebert, R. and Sieber, S. (2010) ‘Micro-level Practices to Adaptto Climate

Change for African Small-scale Farmers’, IFPRI Discussion Paper00953.

Bohle,H.G. Downing, T.E and Watts, M.J. 1994. Climate change and social vulnerability: Toward

a sociology and geography of food insecurity.Global Environmental Change, 4 (1), 37-48.

Creswell, J. (1998). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches

(2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Deressa, T. (2008) Measuring Ethiopian Farmers’ Vulnerability to Climate Change Across

Regional States. IFPRI Discussion Paper 806. Washington, DC: International Food Policy

Research Institute (www.ifpri.org/pubs/dp/IFPRIDP00806.pdf).

Ellis, F., &Mdoe, N. (2003)“Livelihoods and Rural Poverty Reduction in Tanzania”,

World Development Vol. 31, No. 8, pp. 1367-1384.

Food and Agriculture Organization, (2006). The state of food insecurity in the world (2006):

Eradicating Hunger - Taking Stock Ten Years after the World Food summit. FAO, Rome

Food and Agriculture Organization (2000). ‘Climate-smart Agriculture: Policies, Practices and

Financing for food Security, Adaptation and Mitigation’, Technical input for The Hague

Conference onAgriculture, Food Security and Climate Change. FAO. Rome, Oct–Nov 2000

IPCC (2007) Climate Change Impacts Adaptation and Vulnerability. Geneva: IPCC

IPCC.(2001), Summary for Policymakers. Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and

Vulnerability. A report of Working Group II of the IPCC. Geneva

Moyo M., Mvumi B.M, Kunzekweguta M, Mazvimavi K, Craufurd P and Dorward.P (2012).

Farmer Perceptions on Climate Change and Variability in Semi-Arid Zimbabwe in Relation

toClimatology Evidence, African Crop Science Journal, Vol. 20, Issue Supplement s2, pp.

–335

Nelson, V., Meadows, K., Cannon, T., Morton, J., Martin, A., 2002, ‘Uncertain predictions,

invisible impacts, and the need to mainstream gender in climate change adaptations’, Gender

And Development 10(2), 51–59.

Scoones, I. (1998). Sustainable rural livelihoods: A framework for analysis. Brighton: IDS,

University of Sussex.

Scoones, I. (1998).‘Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: A Framework for Analysis’, IDSWorking

paper 72, Brighton, IDS.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP 2009) Gender and climate change: Impact and

adaptation. IRADe. Available online: http://www.csd-i.org/. Accessed on 4 July, 2014)

UNFCCC, 1990. Climate change: defined, variability, and adaptation in developing countries.

Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC): Bonn, Germany.

Published
2019-04-03
How to Cite
Funteh, M. B., & Ncube, A. (2019). Climate variability and the adaptive capacity of the rural farmers. IJRDO - Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research (ISSN: 2456-2971), 4(3), 22-51. Retrieved from https://ijrdo.org/index.php/sshr/article/view/2719