Indigenous Climate-Smart Agricultural Practices in a Changing Climate: Exploring Adaptation Strategies and Impacts on Crop Production in the UNESCO Designated Cultural Landscapes of Konso, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The main aim of this study was to explore climate variability and indigenous climate-smart agricultural (CSA) practices in Konso. The study was mainly based on primary data gathered through household surveys, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and direct field observation. Rainfall and temperature trends were analyzed using the Mann-Kendall trend test, while the spatiotemporal distribution of drought incidents was analyzed and mapped using a standardized precipitation index (SPI). Spatial covariance and correlations were examined using ArcGIS 10.5 band collection statistics tools. A multinomial logistic model was employed to assess the factors that determine adoption of the indigenous CSA practices. While multiple linear regression was employed to assess the impacts of climate variables on crop production, endogenous switching regression was used to assess the effects of indigenous CSA practices on crop production. The findings revealed an increase in annual and summer (Kiremt) season rainfall by 3.16 mm and 0.42 mm per year, respectively. However, the spring (Belg) season rainfall shows a decrease of 1.12 mm per year. The observed episodes of drought indicate that smallholder farmers are already exposed to the adverse impacts of climate change and that rainfed agriculture will be further challenged in the future. A multinomial logistic model showed that the main determinants of adoption of terracing, agroforestry, and intercropping were education, size of landholding, income, access to climate information, credit, and extension services. The multiple linear regression model indicated that climate variability explains 37.4– 47.5% of the annual variation in crop production (p<0.05).Thus,the high variability in rainfall and warming tempera tures result in a decreasing trend in crop production. The results also reveal that application of CSA practices such as crop diversificaion.terracing manure,irrigation and rainwater harvesting have positive impacs on crop production. Households that use CSA practices show a significant (p<0.01) increase in crop production compared to non-users.Furthemore,the qualitative analysis shows that sociocultural values, norms,cooperative labor groups,and indigenous political institutions have served as the pillars for the survival and sustainability of indigenous CSA practices for hundreds of years.External support in the form of reliable regular weather forecasts. Affordable credit,crop insurance and livelihood indigenous farming system. To ensure the long-term sustainability of indigenous CSA practices in Konso, the community, local government, and NGOs should work in collaboration to restore and prompte sociocultural norms,values, and indigenous institutions.



Climate Variability, Agroecology, SPI, Terracing, Indigenous CSA Practices, Endogenous Switching Regression, Sustainability, Indigenous Institution, Sociocultural Norm