Perceived Climate Change and Determinants of Adaptation Responses by Smallholder Farmers in Central Ethiopia
Climate change is a global phenomenon but disproportionately affects smallholder farmers, prompting them to use various coping and adaptation strategies to counter the problem. This study aimed to examine the trends of climate parameters, assess farmers’ perception of climate change, and identify the strategies of adaptation measures in central Ethiopia. Climate data were obtained from the National Meteorological Agency. Survey data were collected from 120 randomly selected households in 2017 and complemented with focus group discussions. The Mann–Kendall approach was used to detect climate trends, while a rainfall anomaly was calculated using the rainfall anomaly index. Multinomial logit model was used to examine determinants of farmers’ adaptation to the perceived change. In most of the cases, farmers’ perceptions were in accordance with climate trend analyses. Farmers used crop diversification, adjustments of planting dates, destocking of livestock, seasonal migration, crop rotation, and climate information services to adapt to climaterelated shocks. Empirical results showed that the age and education of the household heads, family size, access to extension services, and farm and nonfarm incomes had a significant association with the adaptation practices farmers took. The existence of strong correlations between the demographic, socio-institutional variables, and the choice of adaptation strategies suggests the need to strengthen local institutions to enhance the adaptation of smallholder farmers to climate change.