The purpose of this paper is to explore smallholder farmers’ risk perception associated with climate change, the adaptation strategies used and determinants of their adaptation decision behaviour in Eferatena-Gidem district, Ethiopia.
The study used household survey methods of data collection. The data were collected using a structured questionnaire survey by interviewing 261 randomly selected smallholder farmers and analysed using both descriptive and inferential data analysis techniques including Participation Index, Adaptation Strategy Index and Binary Logistic Regression Model.
Results of the survey revealed that the vast majority of the respondents perceived the long-term changes in temperature and rainfall pattern. Although they are not transformational in nature, the majority (77 per cent) of the respondents who had perceived changes in climate took adaptive measures. Results of the econometric model analysis revealed that farmers’ perceptions of climate change, extension contact frequency, farmers’ attitude towards adaptation measures, tailor-made training and membership of farmers in peasant associations were found to be significant predictors that positively influenced farmers’ decision behaviour, whereas off-farm employment and the age of the household head were found to be negative and significant determinants.
This study, in general, provides an insight into the risk perception, adaptive response and determinants of farmers’ decision behaviour in implementing response strategies and suggests that policies and strategies intended at building the adaptive capacity of the farming community in the study area need to take into account the aforementioned significant factors and framers risk perception, as they highly determine their decision behaviour and help in designing effective and context-specific adaptation strategy.
The findings of this study could be informative for policy makers and development practitioners in designing locally specific effective adaptation menu that shapes adaptation to current and future climate risks.
Tesfahun, A. and Chawla, A. (2020), "Risk perceptions and adaptation strategies of smallholder farmers to climate change and variability in North Shoa Zone, Ethiopia", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 254-272. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-04-2019-0076Download as .RIS
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