Perceptions and practices of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies among farmers in the Konta Special District, Ethiopia
Nowadays climate change is amongst the most critical problems affecting the wellbeing of human beings. In Ethiopia, where the majority of the population rely on agriculture, climate change has adverse effects. In rural areas, low resilient capacity to shocks exacerbates the impacts of climate change such as production failure, which in turn enormously contributed to food insecurity. In view of this fact, this study assessed the perceptions and practices of climate change and related adaptation and mitigation strategies among farmers in the Konta Special District, Southern Ethiopia, by using a mixed research approach involving a concurrent method of data collection and analysis. Quantitative data for this study was generated from 296 randomly selected survey households; while, qualitative data was collected through focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and in-depth interviews. The findings of this study revealed that sample respondents recognized the occurrence climate change and its increasing adverse effects. Regarding its cause, a substantial proportion (46.8%) of the respondents perceived climate change as the wrath of God and a natural phenomenon rather than attributing it to human activities. Participants also acknowledged that anthropogenic factors such as deforestation are the major driving factors for climate change. The study found that farmers affirmatively perceive the feasibility of the majority of the strategies embraced in the Climate Resilient Green Economy initiative endorsed at national level. Understanding that climate change effects are less reversible, farmers were found to practice mitigation strategies such as afforestation, agroforestry and agricultural intensification more than adaptation strategies. Adaptation strategies such as fuel conservation technologies were perceived costly and complex given the economic capacity and skill of farmers. Hence, rural and agricultural development policies should initiate context sensitive adaptation and mitigation strategies to enhance the capability of smallholders to deal with the effects of climate change.(original abstract)
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