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Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management

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Perceptions of climate change and adaptation to microclimate change and variability among smallholder farmers in Mhakwe Communal Area, Manicaland province, Zimbabwe

O Rusinga, L Chapungu, P Moyo, K Stigter

Abstract


Climate change and the related increasing variability are real phenomena in sub-Saharan Africa. They are exacerbating climatic risks associated with small-scale agriculture in tropical regions. This study seeks to assess smallholder farmers' perceptions of climate change and also their adaptive strategies at the microscale in Mhakwe Communal Area in Zimbabwe. A mixed method research design was employed to carry out the study. The design was a triangulation of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. A sample of 43 smallholder farmers was purposively selected because the population of smallholder farmers was unknown. The study noted that government agencies and non-governmental organisations were providing information about climate change and variability to smallholder farmers. Farmers practiced a number of adaptation strategies such as timing in planting, zero tillage, mulching, agroforestry and gardening. The study recommended that external agencies should focus on strengthening existing adaptive strategies. There is also need to scale-up programmes on capacity building with regards to dissemination of analysed weather and
climate data.

Key Words: Climate change; Adaptation; Agriculture; Smallholder farmers, Vulnerability




http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ejesm.v7i3.11
AJOL African Journals Online