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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Allemagne → 2016 → Climate change adaptation, social networks, and agricultural extension reforms in Ethiopia

Universität Hohenheim (2016)

Climate change adaptation, social networks, and agricultural extension reforms in Ethiopia

Tensay, Teferi Mequaninte

Titre : Climate change adaptation, social networks, and agricultural extension reforms in Ethiopia

Klimawandel-Anpassung, soziale Netzwerke und landwirtschaftliche Erweiterungsreformen in Äthiopien

Auteur : Tensay, Teferi Mequaninte

Université de soutenance : Universität Hohenheim

Grade : Doktor der Agrarwissenschaften 2016

Résumé partiel
Research on the impact of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa shows that climate change is expected to cause an increased frequency of extreme events such as high temperature and rainfall intensity, droughts and floods, desertification, and spread of animal and human diseases. These extreme events are likely to have a negative impact on food security. Using the case of Ethiopia, this thesis analyses the role that social network and agricultural extension can play in enhancing farmers’ ability to adapt to climate change. The thesis builds on recent research, which has highlighted the role of social networks and extension in promoting adaptation to the negative impacts of climate change. Social networks between farmers can build community resilience and increase adaptation to climate change. They also affect technology adoption and climate change adaptation through social learning, joint evaluation of new technologies and collective action. Current research on social networks in Ethiopia has mainly focused on the effects of network size on technology adoption and there is no empirical study on which types of social networks matter the most, and how do such types of social networks matter for climate change adaptation. Agricultural extension is expected to facilitate climate change adaptation through training and education of farmers, enabling them to anticipate climate change and to update their knowledge, attitudes and adaptive capabilities in response to climate change. In addition to their well-established function of promoting technologies and natural resource management practices, agricultural extension services are expected to play new roles in building farmers’ social networks and supporting climate change adaptation strategies. There are various studies on agricultural extension reforms in Ethiopia, but there are still gaps in this literature, especially regarding the capacity of the extension service to promote adaptation to climate change and to promote social networks. The purpose of this thesis is, therefore, to fill these knowledge gaps and to contribute to the current debate on the dynamic links between climate change, social networks and extension reforms. The thesis combines quantitative and qualitative methods for analysis of three inter-related research topics. First, the thesis examines farmers’ vulnerabilities to climate change and the role of adaptation in increasing productivity at the household level. Second, it assesses how the different types of social networks are related with the adoption of sustainable land management practices for climate change adaptation. Third, by examining what works and what does not work well in the agricultural extension reforms in Ethiopia, the thesis investigates the interactions between climate change, social networks and extension reforms in Amhara region of Ethiopia. The thesis is based on a mixed methods approach. It combines a quantitative analysis, using World Bank data from a survey conducted in 2011 covering 1338 farmers. The analytical methods include a probit model, an OLS analysis and an endogenous switching regression model. Qualitative research methods included Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) combined with an individual scoring technique, and a Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis. The study on climate change adaptation found that the effects of climate change and adaptation practices differ across agro-ecological zones and adopter groups. In the kolla agro-ecologies, the major hazards were drought, floods, and migration. In contrast, snowfall, landslides and crop diseases were the main hazards in the dega and woyna-dega agro-ecologies. Erratic rainfall, soil erosion and livestock diseases were common hazards to all agro-ecologies. Households’ responses to the hazards were differed across the different agro-ecologies. In the kolla agro-ecologies, the most common coping strategies were reducing the number of daily meals, migration, livestock selling and utilization of irrigation. In the dega and woyna-dega agro-ecologies common coping strategies included : changing consumption patterns ; adopting drought resistant crops (sorghum and millet) ; sale of chickens, eggs, sheep, goats, eucalyptus trees ; soil conservation and tree planting ; zero grazing and water harvesting. In all agro-ecologies, local institutions support communal adaptation strategies such as communal water harvesting and irrigation schemes, reforestation, rangeland enclosure and prevention of soil erosion. The empirical results also revealed that farmers who implemented climate change adaptation strategies have significantly increased their food productivity and food security, compared to farmers who did not implement such strategies. The findings regarding the relationship between social networks and sustainable land management revealed that networks with relatives have a positive impact on planting trees, but the impact of such networks on soil conservation was found to be negative. This finding can be interpreted as an incidence of self-interested behavior, since farmers may plant trees as a means of securing land holdings. When farmers are faced with the risk of losing their land to relatives, due to common heritage, they prefer planting trees to soil conservation. Farmers can reclaim all their investment costs by cutting trees, should they lose their land holding rights to relatives. In contrast, it would be difficult to regain soil conservation investment costs in this case. Friendship networks were found to be insignificant in both planting trees and soil conservation, while neighborhood ties only had a significant association with tree planting. This suggests the potential contributions of friendship and neighborhood networks, which can significantly affect sustainable land management practices, but may remain untapped.


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