Farmers’ Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change on Agricultural Production: The Case of Negelle Arsi Woreda, West Arsi Zone, Oromia Region

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Addis Ababa University


Livelihoods of the rural communities depends on agricultural sector which is often affected by the variability and extremes of climate change. To capture the variation in Ethiopia’s biophysical conditions (i.e., elevation, climate, terrain, soil type, vegetation, and fauna) the MoA has previously split the country into 32 Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZs). For assessment in this strategy, the AEZs have been clustered to create 14 Adaptation Planning Zones (APZs). This is in order to simplify the analysis while reflecting the diversity within Ethiopia’s climate. The study area is one of the climate changes prone areas in the central rift valley of Ethiopia. Hence understanding of area specific and adaptation is crucial to develop and implement proper adaptation strategies that can reduce the adverse impact of climate change on crop and livestock sectors. This study investigated how the farming communities perceive climate change, its adverse impacts, adaptation mechanisms they practice and factors that hampers their decision to adapt appropriate strategies. Both primary and secondary data were used, and the primary data were collected through discussions, observation, and interviews. Moreover, annual temperature and precipitation data were obtained from the National Meteorological Agency (NMA) of Ethiopia for the period between 1983 and 2016. The study applied CV, SRA, a nonparametric Sen’s slope estimator and Mann–Kendall’s trend tests to detect the magnitude and statistical significance of climate variability. The Multinomial regression models with the help of software STATA version 13 were used to analyze the influence of the socioeconomic characteristics of sample households on the farmer's decision to choose climate change adaptation strategies. The result shows many of the farmers choose drought and disease resistant short season variety (75%), crop diversification (66%) and irrigation (47%) as adaptation strategies to the changing climate despite their actual adaptation practices in place. The result also indicated that crop failure, drought and shortages of water, pest and diseases, soil erosion and flooding are key climate change-related problems. To alter the negative impact of climate, farmers are mainly using drought resistant crops and livestock varieties, adjustment of planting dates, agroforestry and income sources diversification. The econometric model indicated that education, farmland, sex of household head, access to credit and market and extension services were the key factors determining farmers’ adaptation practices in the study area. The study concludes that farmers’ capacity to choose effective adaptation options depends on their affordability to buy farm inputs and get access to irrigation technologies. Thus, increasing their engagement on of farm activities that are less impacted by climate variability can be taken as best alternative way of adaptation mechanism. Segregation of detail adaptation strategies by subagroecologies is limitation of the study and it is recommended for further study.



Climate change, adaptation, strategies, variability, drought, resilience, diversification. Environment, food security