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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2022

Titay Zeleke, Fekadu Beyene, Temesgen Deressa, Jemal Yousuf and Temesgen Kebede

Change of climate is attributed to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere observed over comparable periods. The purpose of this paper is to explore…

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Abstract

Purpose

Change of climate is attributed to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere observed over comparable periods. The purpose of this paper is to explore smallholder farmers' perceptions of climate change and compare it with meteorological data, as well as to identify perceived adaptation barriers and examine the factors that influence the choice of adaptation options in eastern Ethiopia.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 384 sample households were chosen from four districts of the zone. A cross-sectional survey was used to conduct the study. Primary data was acquired through key informant interviews, focus group discussions and semistructured interviews, whereas meteorological data was collected from the National Meteorological Service Agency of Ethiopia. A Mann–Kendall statistical test was used to analyze temperature and rainfall trends over 33 years. A multivariate probit (MVP) model was used to identify the determinants of farmers' choice of climate change adaptation strategies.

Findings

The result indicated that temperature was significantly increased, whereas rainfall was significantly reduced over the time span of 33 years. This change in climate over time was consistently perceived by farmers. Smallholder farmers use improved varieties of crops, crop diversification, adjusting planting dates, soil and water conservation practices, reducing livestock holdings, planting trees and small-scale irrigation adaptation strategies. Moreover, this study indicated that sex of the household head, landholding size, livestock ownership, access to extension, access to credit, social capital, market distance, access to climate change-related training, nonfarm income, agroecological setting and poverty status of the households significantly influence farmers’ choice of adaptation strategies.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is required to evaluate the economic impact of each adaptation options on the livelihood of smallholder farmers.

Practical implications

Institutional variables significantly influenced how farmers adapted to climate change, and all of these issues might potentially be addressed by improving institutional service delivery. To improve farm-level adaptation, local authorities are recommended to investigate the institutional service provision system while also taking demographic and agroecological factors in to account.

Originality/value

This study compared farmers' perceptions with temperature and rainfall trend analysis, which has been rarely addressed by other studies. This study adopts an MVP model and indicated the adaptation strategies that complement/substitute strategies each other. Furthermore, this study discovered that the choice of adaptation options differed between poor and nonpoor households, which has been overlooked in previous climate change adaptation research.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

Keywords

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