Seasonal Climate Prediction and Adaptation Using Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Agriculture Systems in Southern Africa: A Review

  •  Obert Jiri    
  •  Paramu Mafongoya    
  •  Chipo Mubaya    
  •  Owen Mafongoya    


Erratic rainfall and increasing temperature is rapidly emerging as one of the most serious global problems affecting many sectors in the world. It is considered to be one of the most serious threats to sustainable development with adverse impact on environment, human health, food security, economic activities, natural resources and physical infrastructure. Southern Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change in the world, particularly because of widespread poverty, recurrent droughts, inequitable land distribution, over-dependence on rain-fed agriculture and low adaptive capacity. Yet rural farmers in southern Africa have managed to survive the vagaries of climate change over the years. This review reveals that these rural farmers can use indigenous knowledge to cope and adapt to climate change. Availability and access to scientific weather information to make cropping and other decisions at the local level remain key issues to usage of climatic data by rural farmers. On the other hand, indigenous knowledge is what rural farmers have been using but is also becoming unreliable due to climate change and variability. Integration of indigenous knowledge and scientific seasonal forecast seems to be a key possible thrust to reduce vulnerability, enhance resilience of rural farmers and increase their adaptive capacity.

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