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Exploring the link between climate change perceptions and adaptation strategies among smallholder farmers in Chimanimani district of Zimbabwe

Edward Mutandwa (Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Zimbabwe Faculty of Agriculture, Harare, Zimbabwe)
Benjamine Hanyani-Mlambo (Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Zimbabwe Faculty of Agriculture, Harare, Zimbabwe)
Joseph Manzvera (Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Zimbabwe Faculty of Agriculture, Harare, Zimbabwe)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 25 March 2019

Issue publication date: 14 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish the association between smallholder farmer perceptions toward climate change and adaptation strategies at the household level in Chimanimani District of Zimbabwe.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 284 households mainly using a structured questionnaire. The Heckman probit selection model was used to first identify the underlying socio-economic factors that affect households’ recognition of climate change in the past 10 years, and the second model the factors that influence adaptation to the climate change phenomenon.

Findings

The majority of farmers (85 percent) perceived that climate change, characterized by rising temperatures and variability in rainfall patterns, has been occurring in the past ten years. As a response, farmers adapted using methods such as manuring and staggering of planting dates. Indigenous knowledge systems and non-governmental organizations increased the likelihood farmers’ recognition of climate change (p<0.05). The probability of adopting multiple adaptation strategies was influenced by household head’s education level, land tenure and access to public extension services.

Practical implications

Integrative extension methods that take into account socio-cultural values could be helpful in building resilience as farmers are better able to understand the climate change construct. There is a need to guarantee land tenure rights in resettlement areas to stimulate investment on farms.

Originality/value

This study showed that there is a link between farmers’ prior knowledge of climate change and the number of adaptive investments. The analysis proposed an educational and extension approach that is embedded in the socio-cultural and traditional setting of farmers.

Keywords

Citation

Mutandwa, E., Hanyani-Mlambo, B. and Manzvera, J. (2019), "Exploring the link between climate change perceptions and adaptation strategies among smallholder farmers in Chimanimani district of Zimbabwe", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 46 No. 7, pp. 850-860. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-12-2018-0654

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited