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University of South Africa (2016)

The impact of climate change on agricultural crop production in the Vhembe District Municipality, Limpopo Province South Africa

Musetha, Mboniseni Aubrey

Titre : The impact of climate change on agricultural crop production in the Vhembe District Municipality, Limpopo Province South Africa

Auteur : Musetha, Mboniseni Aubrey

Université de soutenance : University of South Africa

Grade : Master of Science (MS) in Environmental Management 2016

Résumé
The aim of this research was to identify the impacts and adaptation options of climate variability and change on agricultural crop production in Vhembe District Municipality. The study will contribute to the expansion of existing literature on climate change impacts on agricultural sector. The following two main objectives were formulated for the purpose of this study :  To determine the level of awareness of small-scale maize farmers about climate change impacts and threats in Vhembe District Municipality (VDM),  To compare the level of production scales between the farmers who are aware and the farmers who are not aware of climate change impacts and its threats. The study area was the Vhembe District Municipality ; a representative sample of 150 farmers (aged 18 – 65+ years, 46 percent males and 54 percent females) participated in the study. Vhembe District Municipality is one of poorest municipalities in Limpopo due to lack of infrastructure development, and as a result of that, there is an increase of socio-economic problems such as food prices increase, unemployment, scarcity of food, and lack of local markets. The study further covers the municipality’s farming enterprises, systems, categories, infrastructure as well as other constraints that may be facing the emerging farmer in the District. The study highlighted the lack of climate change information, reduction of livestock production and crop yields of the farmers in the Vhembe District. The literature studies show climate variability and change adaptation strategies such as planting different varieties, crop diversification, different planting dates and shortening of growing periods. This study draws on lessons learned, experiences, and other existing research on climate change impact and adaptation across the globe. It was concluded during the research that change in climate was already perceived by farmers in the Vhembe District and the study also presented perceived adaptation strategies used by farmers in the Vhembe District. The study concludes that there is lack of local market, and low level of farmers’ awareness about the impact of climate change on the crop production in the Vhembe district. This low level of awareness translates into a low level of crop production which results in increased socio-economic problems, low income, increased unemployment, increased crops diseases and reduced crop yields.

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