Small holder farmers adaptation strategies to climate-related risk factors in wheat production in selected districts of central Oromia, Ethiopia

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Author: 
Zeray Zeleke, Getachew Sime and Lemma Shallo
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

A study was conducted to identify smallholder farmers’ adaptation strategies to the impact of climate change on wheat productivity and to determine factors influencing the choices of the strategies, in Arsi Zone of Oromia Regional State Ethiopia. Field survey was conducted on 196 smallholder farmers using a multistage stratified random sampling technique. Descriptive statistics and Multinomial logit (MNL) were used to analyze the data. Results from the descriptive statistics indicate that drought, flood, crop pest or disease and storm were the major climate-related risk factors faced by the sampled household farmers. The majority of the respondents (81.6 %) faced crop pest or disease followed by drought. More than 74 % of the sampled households used adaptive seed varieties, and soil and water conservation, early or late planting and increasing seed rate methods as adaptation strategies to cope with adverse effects of the risk factors on wheat production and productivity. Results from the MNL model indicated that the direction and magnitude of the determinant factors vary across adaptation strategies. On top of that, the type of risk factor households’ encounter influenced the type of adaptation strategies chosen to adapt to or mitigate the effects of the climate-risk factors. Strengthening existing households’ adaptation strategies through extension system appears instrumental. In this regard, awareness creation through regular trainings, extension services and mass media are vital particularly in enhancing existing adaptive practices like late or early planting, seeding rate management, provision of subsidy modalities or credits for purchasing adaptive wheat varieties, and construction of locally feasible physical structures for conserving soil and water. Above all, provision of reliable agro-meteorological information before the cropping system could help households manage appropriate adaptive strategies.

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