Assessment of Smallholder Farmers’ Perceptions of Climate Change Scenarios for 50 years in Salima District, Malawi

Authors

  • Ben Twinomugisha
  • Reguli Baltazar Mushy

Keywords:

Climate Change; Smallholder Farmers; Perceptions.

Abstract

Smallholder farmers are significantly considered being amongst the poorest that are most affected by climate change. Climate change is rated the greatest threat to smallholders’ food production in the 21stcentury. Despite scientists agreeing that the  world is  getting warmer, it  was  important for this study  to  assess whether  climate  change  is  a  reality  that  is  known  and  experienced  by smallholder farmers in Malawi. This paper assesses smallholder farmers’ Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions (KAP) towards climate change in comparison  with  available  meteorological  data  for  50  years.  Descriptive research  design  with  a  mixed  approach  of  both  qualitative and  quantitative research methods was adopted. A sample of 183 respondents was randomly and purposefully selected to include both household heads and key informants. Data collection method included Survey Questionnaire, Key Informants Interviews, Focused Group Discussions as well as literature review. Meteorological data for 50 years was analyzed to underpin farmers’ perceptions on climate change. The  result  shows  that  survey  respondents’  knowledge  of  climate  change  is derived from their experiences, thoughts and ideas about how to cope with changing drought and rainfall seasons. Those results are in tandem with the conventional view based on scientific evidence that suggests changing climate in Malawi with profound impact on seasons.

Author Biographies

Ben Twinomugisha

Climate Change Adaptation Specialist Consultant; UNDP Country Office, Malawi

Reguli Baltazar Mushy

Lecturer, The Open University of Tanzania, Department of Geography

Published

2020-07-30