Factors Influencing Smallholder Farmers’ Climate Change Perceptions: A Study from Farmers in Ethiopia

Lemlem Teklegiorgis Habtemariam, Markus Gandorfer, Getachew Abate Kassa, Alois Heissenhuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

Factors influencing climate change perceptions have vital roles in designing strategies to enrich climate change understanding. Despite this, factors that influence smallholder farmers’ climate change perceptions have not yet been adequately studied. As many of the smallholder farmers live in regions where climate change is predicted to have the most negative impact, their climate change perception is of particular interest. In this study, based on data collected from Ethiopian smallholder farmers, we assessed farmers’ perceptions and anticipations of past and future climate change. Furthermore, the factors influencing farmers’ climate change perceptions and the relation between farmers’ perceptions and available public climate information were assessed. Our findings revealed that a majority of respondents perceive warming temperatures and decreasing rainfall trends that correspond with the local meteorological record. Farmers’ perceptions about the past climate did not always reflect their anticipations about the future. A substantial number of farmers’ anticipations of future climate were less consistent with climate model projections. The recursive bivariate probit models employed to explore factors affecting different categories of climate change perceptions illustrate statistical significance for explanatory variables including location, gender, age, education, soil fertility status, climate change information, and access to credit services. The findings contribute to the literature by providing evidence not just on farmers’ past climate perceptions but also on future climate anticipations. The identified factors help policy makers to provide targeted extension and advisory services to enrich climate change understanding and support appropriate farm-level climate change adaptations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-358
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Climate change
  • Perception
  • Recursive bivariate probit model

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