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AN INVESTIGATION OF CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION STRATEGIES AND INNOVATION OF SWAZI FARMERS
 

AN INVESTIGATION OF CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION STRATEGIES AND INNOVATION OF SWAZI FARMERS

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Water and land are the major ingredients in the livelihoods of people globally. Only about 10% of the total area is suitable for agriculture in Swaziland, where over 95% of the water resources are ...

Water and land are the major ingredients in the livelihoods of people globally. Only about 10% of the total area is suitable for agriculture in Swaziland, where over 95% of the water resources are used for irrigation. Visible on the livelihoods of the population are the symptoms of the adverse effects of recurrent droughts, which are associated with climate change. Small-scale farmers in particular have limited resources to cultivate large portions of their arable land. Hence there is a notable realization that there are key economic areas- water, agriculture, forestry and energy- in which managed or policy driven climate change adaptation strategies are necessary. A study was carried out to document perceptions of Swazi farmers regarding the effects of climate change on their livelihoods and to identify water and land use technologies for climate change adaptation. Two instruments were used to gather data through interviews using focus group technique (FGT). The findings indicate that Swazi farmers are stretched to the limit of their capability. Climate change has imposed the need for farmer creativity and to search for alternative strategies to source water and use land more judiciously. July rains (imbotisamahlanga in SiSwati) used to help decompose crop residues; August rains facilitated early planting but there is no more consistency in the rains. The frequent droughts and a shift in rains has made it difficult to grow a wide range of crops; reduced production and increased levels of poverty along with food insecurity. Farmers have responded through water technologies, especially irrigation (to cope with water stresses) and, to a major extent, by adopting conservation agriculture to conserve soil and improve its fertility.

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    AN INVESTIGATION OF CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION STRATEGIES AND INNOVATION OF SWAZI FARMERS AN INVESTIGATION OF CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION STRATEGIES AND INNOVATION OF SWAZI FARMERS Presentation Transcript

    • Swazi Farmers’ Preparedness to Respondto Climate Change in Water and Land Use Practices by Qand’elihle G. S. N. Simelane, PhD Musa M. A. Dube, PhD Department of Agricultural Education & Extension University of Swaziland
    • Use of Water & Land in SwazilandRecognized land use About 10% of categories the total area is suitable for Crop agriculture agriculture Over 95% of Animal husbandry the water Forestry resources are used for Extraction and collection irrigation Sugarcane Nature protection utilizing at least 85% of it. Settlement and industry.
    • Impacts of Climate Change on LivelihoodsVisible on the livelihoods of the population are thesymptoms of the adverse effects More extreme weather events and natural disasters An increase in rainfall intensity Crop failure resulting in food insecurity Water scarcity High frequency of water-borne and vector-borne diseases Invasive alien plant species and bush encroachment Frequent fires Conversion of grasslands species to trees and savannas Scarcity of natural resources for cultural events
    • IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON AGRICULTURE IN SWAZILAND Climate variability and change have had a great impact on agricultural production. Projections suggest an increase in temperature in all agro-ecological zones of Swaziland and there will be no significant change in the total annual rainfall The rainfall season is henceforth characterised by late onset and early cessation. Cumulative rainfall in some parts of the country is often sufficient to sustain crop growth when planting is done in time. Analysis showed that climate change in Swaziland will affect different crops differently, depend on the region and period of planting.
    • PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVESTo elicit farmers’ opinions regarding their response toclimate change, in terms of water and land use practicesin Swaziland.Document perceptions of Swazi farmers regardingthe effects of climate change on their livelihoods.Identify water and land use technologies whichSwazi farmers have used to adapt to climatechange.Identify sources of the technologies in water andland use farmers have used to respond to climatechange.Describe relationship between Swazi farmers andtheir perceptions of how they coped with climatechange.
    • METHODOLOGY Study Population Instrument Development Data Collection Ethical Considerations Limitations of the Study
    • FINDINGS DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FARMERS Most of the respondent farmers were married (n= 58, 90.77%) and only 9.23% (n=6) were single. A total of 75% of the farmers had families constituted of by 12 members, with an equal number of both male and females. The youngest among the farmers was 19 years of age and the eldest 81 years. Most of the commercial farmers (87.5%) were either below 35 or above 62 years of age. Most of the farmers were full time farmers (n=60, 83.33%), with families of an average of 9.75 people and the two largest families hosted up to 29 individuals.The family size and dynamics indicate the size of labour endowment in the family, especially amongst the subsistence farmers.
    • FARMERS’ EDUCATION LEVEL & SOURCES OF INCOME Sources of income of the farmers Sources of Part time Full time income Govt grant 5 25 Business 12 60 Salary 3 15
    • CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS EFFECTS ON FARMERS’ LIVELIHOODS July rains used to help decompose crop residues; august rains facilitated early planting: no more consistency in the rains. Effects on rainfall and water supply Effects on cropping patterns and cycles Effects on overall production The drought and shift of rains has created difficulty in planning; made it difficult to grow a wide range of crops; reduced production, increased levels of poverty along with food insecurity in the country. And life is challenging.
    • WATER AND LAND USECLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION TECHNOLOGIESLand use Technologies Water Technologies Fertiliser application o Irrigation systems- furrow; Manuring, soil testing sprinkler, trickle or drip Tractor hire o Water pumps Crop rotation, Mulching o Tank Conservation agriculture o Water recycling Use of fertiliser o Community water system Ploughing just after harvesting o Earth dams, wells Winter ploughing, liming o Water Harvesting Disc harrow to chop stover o Dams, pipes installed Tree planting, cover cropping o Watering basins around plants
    • SOURCES OF TECHNOLOGIES Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to the farmers was limited and provided by ACAT, World Vision, Chinese Scheme and COPSE. General sources of technologies adopted by farmers included the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Swaziland Water Development Enterprise (SWADE), colleague farmers and fellow farmer union members, neighbours, community members
    • SOURCES OF WATER USED BY FARMERSSources Subsistence Semi- Commercial All Cumulative commercial %Surface (S) 5 19 4 28 52.54Underground 3 12 0 15 77.97(U)Both S & U 0 3 1 4 84.75Harvested 2 3 2 7 96.61(H)Waste water 1 0 0 1 98.31(W)Both H & W o 1 0 1 100.00Total 11 27 7 55• The adoption and use of water technologies dates further back than land technologies.• A quarter of the respondent farmers reported having used them for 3.5 years.• Three in four of the farmers had used water technologies for 21.0 years.
    • Perceived Advantages of the Adopted Irrigation Technologieso Effective; uses water efficiently; moisture retention; no waste of watero Reduces production cost,o Water conservationo Retains moisture; reduced production costs; increased yieldso Multi tasking; timely
    • Crop Changes Associated withWater and Land Use Technologies Increased productivity Improvement in the quality of products quality of products A reliable supply of water ensures that crops do not experience water stress When soil and water conservation methodologies used with the effect of reduced erosion Improved soil fertility and fewer diseases, farmers reported an overall increase in yields Most farmer s produc e up to two crops a year ( n= 54, 87.1%) , the remain der produc e 3 crops annua lly.
    • DATA LIMITATIONSLack of records or recalling dates a challenge to the farmers. farmers could offer estimates on: Capital cost of the water technology. The cost of maintenance of land use and water technologies. Estimated and actual financial profits of the technology. The increase in production due to the technology. Changes in crops produced caused by land technology. The value of NGO support technology.
    • CONCLUSIONSClimate change adaptation farm practices in Swaziland predateclimate change adaptation science, and this is based on the datingof these activities, the first Inter-Governmental Panel on ClimateChange (IPCC) assessment report and the National ClimateChange Committee in Swaziland.Farmer responses have shown that the risks and challengesassociated with climate change are serious concerns to farmers.And often the farmers innovate and share technologies horizontallyamongst themselves.Innovative farmers also reported a wider diversity of crops includingmaize and vegetables.Water shortages, crop stresses and droughts are a greater concernamongst the farmers and climate change scientists. Waterconservation technologies feature highly in technologies adoptedand in strategies considered by scientists.
    • RECOMMENDATIONSBased the findings presented in the preceding sections andthe conclusions above, the following recommendations cantherefore be made:  Improve the provision of extension education to enlighten farmers about how to better cope with the challenges of climate change.  It is necessary to prepare farmers so that they can cope after the withdrawal of support from government and partners.
    • IMPLICATIONS While farmers take up farming as a means of earning their livelihoods, some still require external support to drive them to innovate in their operations. Whereas the National Climate Change Committee (NCCC) has been with the provision of an overall coordination and guidance of the development and implementation of a national climate change implementation strategy as well as developing climate adaptation strategies to help communities and farmers manage risk and minimize climate-driven shocks, the farming community seems to be ahead. There are invaluable lessons to be learnt from these innovators, especially with regards to the challenges with the adoption of these technologies; the successes that can be expected as well as ways in which they can be localised and adapted to deliver particular levels of results.