African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6849

Full Length Research Paper

Farmers’ risk perceptions and adaptation to climate change in Lichinga and Sussundenga, Mozambique

Chichongue O. J.
  • Chichongue O. J.
  • University Of Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Karuku G. N.
  • Karuku G. N.
  • University Of Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Mwala A. K.
  • Mwala A. K.
  • Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique (IIAM), Mozambique.
  • Google Scholar
Onyango C. M.
  • Onyango C. M.
  • Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique (IIAM), Mozambique.
  • Google Scholar
Magalhaes A. M.
  • Magalhaes A. M.
  • Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique (IIAM), Mozambique.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 25 March 2013
  •  Accepted: 07 April 2015
  •  Published: 23 April 2015

Abstract

In Africa, climate change exerts significant pressure on the agricultural sector. Current changes in climate for most parts of Mozambique have resulted in increased frequency of droughts, dry spells and uncertain rainfall. This has resulted in loss of food production and smallholder farmers are most vulnerable to these climatic disasters as they affect the food security status of the household. Despite an increased number of country level case studies, knowledge gaps continue to exist at the level of impact analysis. In addition, while adaptation and coping strategies with climate change and variability have become key themes in current global climate discussions and policy initiatives, literature on adaptation in Mozambique appears to be limited. The objective of this study was to assess the perception of smallholder farmers to climate change and adaptation strategies in Lichinga and Sussundenga districts of Mozambique. Using data obtained from a survey carried out in Lichinga and Sussundenga districts in Mozambique descriptive statistics analysis was undertaken using SPSS software to characterize the households, in terms of perceptions and coping strategies of the household to climate change. The farmers from both districts sited rainfall variability and higher temperatures to have severely affected maize production. Due to the late onset of rains, in Lichinga the planting period has changed from November (47.5%) to December (70%) while in Sussundenga the planting period has changed from September/October (40%) to November (62.5%). The rain seasons have become shorter and dry seasons are longer. Some farmers have switched from growing maize to growing drought tolerant crops, such as cassava, sweet potato and cultivation of horticultural crops in wetlands as strategies to cope with the climate change.

 

Key words: Climate variability, farmer’s perceptions, adaptation strategies.