Building climate change resilience through adaptation in smallholder farming systems in semi-arid Zimbabwe

Jiri, O and Mafongoya, P L and Chivenge, P (2017) Building climate change resilience through adaptation in smallholder farming systems in semi-arid Zimbabwe. International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, 9 (2). pp. 1-33. ISSN 1756-8692

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Purpose This study aimed to determine factors that increase resilience and cause smallholder farmers to adapt better to climate change and vulnerability. Design/methodology/approach In this study, the authors used the vulnerability to resilience model and binary logit model to analyse the factors influencing household decisions to adapt. Findings Households with increased access to climate information through extension services were likely to have better adaptation abilities. It was also shown that younger farmers were likely to adapt to climate change given their flexibility to adopt new techniques and their access and use of modern information and technology. Larger households were found to have higher probability of adapting as most adaptation strategies are labour intensive. Household’s possession of livestock and access to credit significantly enhanced adaptation. However, households with higher farm income have lesser incentives to adapt to because their current farming practices might already be optimum. Research limitations/implications Given that most of the smallholder farmers are vulnerable, such as women-headed households and the elderly, who are labour constrained, there is need for research and development of labour saving technologies to increase resilience to climate change and vulnerability. Originality/value These findings underscore the importance of enabling farmer access to information and better technologies which enable them to increase adaptive capacity and resilience.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adaptive capacity, Resilience, Smallholder farmers, Livestock, Climate change adaptation, Farming practices
Subjects: Others > Smallholder Farmers
Others > Semi-Arid Tropics
Others > Climate Resilient Technologies
Others > Climate Change
Others > Zimbabwe
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2017 08:06
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2017 08:06
Official URL:
Funders: National Research Foundation of South Africa
Acknowledgement: This study was funded by the National Research Foundation of South Africa through the Research Chair: Agronomy and Rural Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal
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