Understanding Small-Scale Farmers’ Perception and Adaption Strategies to Climate Change Impacts: Evidence from Two Agro-Ecological Zones Bordering National Parks of Uganda

  •  Christopher Tiyo    
  •  F. L. Orach-Meza    
  •  Eric Edroma    


Agricultural production by small-scale farmers in Uganda is vulnerable to climate change because the agricultural regime is rainfed and subject to climatic changes and variability with significant impact on agricultural productivity, livelihoods and food security. This study analysed small-scale farmers perceptions and impacts of climate change on agricultural production and livelihoods and adaptation options to tackle the adverse effects of climatic changes in Karenga (lowland agroecology) and Kapchesombe (highland agroecology). Both study areas are adjacent to Kidepo Valley and Mount Elgon National Parks respectively. Analysed by using data obtained from 607 households, (41.5 percent males and 58.5 percent females) and were multistaged and purposively sampled. The study found out that that the small-scale farmers were aware of climate change events. Meteorological data analysed confirmed the warming. The largest proportion of the respondents was affected by climate change effects with more impacts felt in Kapchesombe (highland agroecology). The major coping strategies employed include: planting different crops, different planting dates, different crop varieties, soil conservation and crop diversification. Coping strategies employed to contain extreme weather events included terracing, tree-planting, digging drainage channels, planting cover crops, and food storage and meals regulations. Other challenges associated with climate change included: food insecurity due to crop failure, soil erosion, shift in spread of diseases and land degradation. Government should provide effective and productive agronomic farm inputs and production assets and working farm-to-farm extension programme so as to build the adaptive capacity of the vulnerable and improve agricultural production. This should be intertwined with relevant traditional methods.

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