Contextual vulnerability of rainfed crop-based farming communities in semi-arid Zimbabwe: A case of Chiredzi District

Jiri, O and Mafongoya, P L and Chivenge, P (2017) Contextual vulnerability of rainfed crop-based farming communities in semi-arid Zimbabwe: A case of Chiredzi District. International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, 9 (6). pp. 777-789. ISSN 1756-8692

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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to assess smallholder farmers’ vulnerability to climate change and variability based on the socioeconomic and biophysical characteristics of Chiredzi District, a region that is susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change and variability. Design/methodology/approach Vulnerability was assessed using the Vulnerability to Resilience and the Climate Vulnerability and Capacity frameworks. Findings The major indicators and drivers of vulnerability were identified as droughts, flash floods, poor soil fertility and out-migration leaving female- and child-headed households. From sensitivity analysis, it was shown that different areas within the district considered different biophysical and socioeconomic indicators to climate change and variability. They also considered different vulnerability indicators to influence the decisions for adaptation to climate change and variability. Originality/value The results of this study indicate that the area and cropping systems are greatly exposed and are sensitive to climatic change stimuli, as shown by the decline in main cereal grain yield. These results also showed that there is a need to define and map local area vulnerability as a basis to recommend coping and adaptation measures to counter climate change hazards.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adaptive capacity, Vulnerability, Smallholder farmers, Sensitivity, Exposure, Rainfed crop-based farming communities, Semi-arid Zimbabwe
Subjects: Others > Smallholder Farmers
Others > Semi-Arid Tropics
Others > Smallholder Agriculture
Others > Climate Change
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2017 08:30
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2018 06:49
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, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
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