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University of Pretoria (2009)

Exploring the links between climate variability and maize production in the Matelile area in Lesotho

Mokitimi, Ntsielehi Margaret

Titre : Exploring the links between climate variability and maize production in the Matelile area in Lesotho

Auteur : Mokitimi, Ntsielehi Margaret

Université de soutenance : University of Pretoria

Grade : Master of Arts 2009

Résumé
This study examines the link between the climate variables and the maize yields in Matelile village in Lesotho. It also establishes the coping strategies adopted by the local inhabitants. Rainfall and temperature data from Mafeteng station from 1980-2004 were analyzed. Interviews were held with 80 local farmers and household representatives. The results from the interviews showed that most of the local farmers and the household representatives perceive a connection between the climate variables and maize yields. Farmers associate the increase in rainfall during the crop season with an increase in the crop yields. Analyzing the rainfall, temperature data and maize crop yields reflected no significant variation in all the variables over the period. Results from a Statistical Analysis System (SAS) indicate a very weak positive linear correlation of +0.26 between the mean seasonal rainfall and the maize crop yields in the area and a very weak negative correlation of -0.21 and o.43 between the monthly minimum and maximum temperatures and the maize yields. The paper also presents the adaptation and coping mechanisms adopted by the communities in the area. These strategies however continue to be hindered by some socio-economic factors such as lack of access to financial resources. This raises the need for financial and technological assistance for farmers in the area in order to support their initiatives and therefore help them cope with the distress presented by unpredictable climate variation. Copyright © 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria. Please cite as follows : Mokitimi, NM 2009, Exploring the links between climate variability and maize production in the Matelile area in Lesotho,

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