Farmers’ Perception of and Coping Strategies to Climate Change: Evidence From Six Agro-Ecological Zones of Uganda

Joshua S. Okonya, Katja Syndikus, Jürgen Kroschel


In Uganda, weather-related events such as prolonged dry seasons, floods, storms, mudslides, extreme rainfall, and delayed/early rains have become more frequent and/or intense. This has left most of the rural poor farmers’ food insecure and their livelihoods threatened. A total of 192 sweetpotato farmer households distributed in six agro-ecological zones were interviewed to assess how farmers perceive the effects of changes in climatic variables, and how they have adjusted their farming practices to cope with the changes in climate. Gender of the household head and size of land owned significantly affected adaptation. Ninety nine percent of all households interviewed had observed a change in the climate in the last 10 years. Drought and floods had the highest impact on crop production across agro-ecological zones. Coping strategies towards extreme events included storing food, income diversification and digging drainage channels. Other strategies were planting trees; high-yielding, early-maturing, drought-tolerant, disease and/or pest-resistant varieties; planting at onset of rains; increased pesticide/fungicide application among others. The smallholder farmer households studied have a high awareness of changes in rainfall and temperature and have taken measures to cope with effects of a changing climate.

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Journal of Agricultural Science ISSN 1916-9752 (Print) ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)

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