Climate Smart Agriculture: Assessing Level of Adoption and its Contribution to Food Security of Smallholder Farmers in Artuma-Fursi Woreda, Oromiya Special Zone of Amhara Region, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) is a new agricultural approach emerged to improve resilience and productivity, leading to improved food security among smallholder farmers in the face of the menace of climate change. This study thus assessed adoption level of CSAPs and its contribution to food security of smallholder farm households in Artuma-Fursi Woreda. A multistage sampling technique was employed to select 259 sample households. Primary data was collected through structured interview questionnaire using pre-tested cross-sectional survey schedules; and KII and FGDs. Content analysis and close examination of existing CSAPs in the study area were used to identify and group the CSAPs actively used by farmers. Then, a descriptive statistics, called Adaptation Strategy Use Index (ASUI) was used to identify the extent of adoption of each CSAPs in terms of their frequency of use by farmers. To assess links between farm households’ level of adoption and their food security status, the researcher went through two steps. Firstly, a Composite Score Method was used to classify farm households based on their level of adoption, while the second step involved assessment of households’ food security status as measured by the HFBM and HFIAS. Finally, an ordered Probit model was employed to assess factors influencing adoption level of CSAPs in the study area. Results revealed that some 30 CSAPs were actively in use by farmers at different extent and combination, and were presented in five groups, namely CMPs, LMPs, SWCPs, AEPs and IFES. Further results indicated that CMPs (use of improved crop varieties, alley cropping, mechanical weed control, and change planting dates), LMPs (applying fodder conservation, diversify livestock species and use cut and carry feeding) and SWCPs (conservation tillage, crop rotation and in situ water conservation) were the most widely adopted CSAPs, while AEPs (integrating trees in croplands and bee-keeping) and IFES (biogas production and use of efficient biomass stoves) were the least adopted CSAPs in the study area. Regarding level of adoption, 44.4% of the households were medium adopters, followed by the low adopters (32.8%). Only 22.8% were high adopters. It was evident that CSAPs had a great potential to improve food security of farm households. Results of the HFBM indicated 49.2% of high adopters were in the acceptable calorie consumption category (>=2,100), in which only 4.7% were low adopters. In contrast, 64.7% of the low CSA adopters were in the poor calorie consumption category (<=1,680), in which only 13.56% were high adopters. Likewise, results of the HFIAS indicated that the prevalence of food security was the highest among high adopters (79.7%) compared to low (47.1%), in which the prevalence of food insecurity was the highest (52.9%), indicating that greater level of adoption had the highest effect on food security. Results of the ordered probit model indicated that age, gender, years of education, household size, farm size, group membership, access to credit, farm income, off-farm income and value of productive assets were all negatively related, implying that an increase in all these variables will cause low and medium adopters to increase their level of CSA adoption. All these explanatory variables were positively related implying that an increase in these variables will boost adoption in high adopters, providing wider spectrum of interventions to improve the demand for CSA, including the launching of new programs with the potential to diversify farm and non-farm income sources and enhance the institutional support through improved access to extension and credit services. Households should be encouraged to incorporate as much CSAPs as possible to have a higher effect on their food security status. Beside, households should be sensitized on the need to invest on productive assets to enable them absorb risks associated with climate change simultaneously enhancing their ability to uptake more and more CSAPs.