Impact of climate change on small-holder farming: A case of eastern Tigray, northern Ethiopia

  • K Terra
  • A Van Rompaey
  • J Poesen
  • Y Welday
  • J Deckers
Keywords: Adaptation, livestock, pack animals


Although there are well-established concerns about climate change effects in northern Ethiopia, there is little quantitative information concerning how serious these effects are to small holder farming. Moreover, studies on
farm level adaptations that farmers make to minimise the potential impacts of climate change are lacking. Both quantitative and qualitative information were, therefore, collected in a household survey in three representative agro-ecological zones to investigate these problems. There was a general perception among rural households that crop and livestock production, and land productivity declined in the last 20 years. The reduction was related to changes in rainfall. The rainfall was extremely unpredictable and erratic with a coefficient of variation ranging from 18 percent in the midlands to 42 percent in the lowlands. Livestock holding size and crop yield showed a positive correlation with rainfall amount. However, the number of pack animals significantly increased regardless
of the decreased rainfall amount. This increased was due to farmers’ shift to off-farm activities.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2072-6589
print ISSN: 1021-9730