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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Afrique du Sud → 2018 → Perception of climate change impacts, adaptation responses and national response policy outreach by smallholder farmers in Amathole District, South Africa

University of Fort Hare (2018)

Perception of climate change impacts, adaptation responses and national response policy outreach by smallholder farmers in Amathole District, South Africa

Popoola, Oluwaseun Oluwabunmi

Titre : Perception of climate change impacts, adaptation responses and national response policy outreach by smallholder farmers in Amathole District, South Africa

Auteur : Popoola, Oluwaseun Oluwabunmi

Université de soutenance : University of Fort Hare

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Agricultural Extension 2018

Résumé partiel
The climate is changing, with imminent threats. Projections for increased inconsistencies in climatic elements such as rainfall and temperature have continued to raise concerns particularly amongst farmers. The majority of South African smallholder and resource-poor farmers rely heavily on rain-fed agriculture, making them vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change risks. As sustainability is crucial to the continuous survival of this population, this study assessed the farmers’ perceptions of climate change impacts on agricultural production activities as well as their adaptation responses. The South African national climate change response policy was developed and approved in October 2011 in order to institute a responsive intervention system for the moderation of climate change impacts on South Africa’s citizens. Amongst its priorities is building capacity and resilience in the country’s agricultural sector, with the public agricultural extension system as a principal component for climate change sensitisation, education and capacity-building. With current global climate change conditions, the urgency to provide agricultural knowledge on adaptation has risen. Smallholder farmers, in particular, are challenged in this regard, and face numerous restraining factors. Therefore, this study investigated several key issues related to climate change sensitization activities and response. A multistage sampling procedure was used in the selection of the study sample (n = 301) residing in the rural settlements of Mbahashe Local Municipality, in Amathole District Municipality, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. A cross-sectional household survey was carried out in eighteen villages surrounding the three major towns in the municipality – Idutywa, Elliotdale and Willowvale. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires. Descriptive and inferential statistical tools were used for data analysis. Findings revealed a perceived increase in temperature levels and a drastic decline in rainfall ; perceived harsh and aggressive climatic conditions, with attendant problems of drought. There is a perceived increased difficulty in production activities as a result of water scarcity. Poor soil conditions, pest infestations and disease infections, poor vegetation and limited grazing, decreased livestock growth rate, reduced livestock weight, milk production and reproduction rates, reduction in quantity of egg production, egg quality and sizes, are amongst many other perceived challenges. There is a growing threat of unsustainable agricultural production, which may in due course increase poverty levels among the smallholder farmers. Adaptation responses were extremely limited.

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