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Climate change adaptation strategies of small-scale farmers in Ngamiland East, Botswana

Abstract

Climate change and variability threaten the sustainability of agricultural and food production, especially in agrarian communities. In Southern Africa, rainfall is expected to decline by almost 10% by the year 2050 and the largest increase in temperature can be experienced. Despite the potential risks of climate change on agricultural productivity, Botswana does not have a dedicated policy to respond to climate change. Furthermore, there is a dearth of research done in Botswana to provide an understanding of factors that shape farmers’ adaptation to climate change and institutional link to the adaptive capacity of farming households. Therefore, the aim of this article is to analyse institutions that influence farmers’ adaptation strategies of farmers in Botswana, using Ngamiland East as a case study. The paper relies on empirical data collected from purposively selected key informants and 300 households. The results show that the majority of farmers who have climate variability adaptation strategies in place are largely influenced by indigenous knowledge. Women and low-income earners are less likely to employ climate change adaptation strategies in order to improve their agricultural productivity. This article gives a better perspective of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing institutions designed to enable agricultural productivity. It recommends that macro-level and local government institutions should acknowledge the indigenous knowledge, community-level institutions and farmers’ adaptive capacity in policy formulation processes.

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Correspondence to Patricia K. Mogomotsi.

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Mogomotsi, P.K., Sekelemani, A. & Mogomotsi, G.E.J. Climate change adaptation strategies of small-scale farmers in Ngamiland East, Botswana. Climatic Change 159, 441–460 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-019-02645-w

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-019-02645-w

Keywords

  • Small-scale farmers
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Institutions
  • SWOT analysis
  • Southern Africa
  • Botswana