Gender Differentiation in the Adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture Technologies and Level of Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in Malawi

  • Tasokwa Kakota Chibowa
  • Gry Synnevag
  • Beston Maonga
  • Michael Mainje


The gender gap in agriculture and its consequences for household food security and livelihoods are well documented. In Malawi, women perform between 50% and 70% of all agricultural tasks and produce almost 70% of the food. This study was conducted to assess gender differences in the adoption of climate smart agriculture (CSA) technologies and level of adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers in Malawi. The study used mixed methods in both data collection and analysis. Data were collected through 8 focus group discussions and individual household interviews with 229 male- and female-headed households from Dowa, Nkhotakota and Phalombe districts. A four-step adaptive capacity ladder to climate change impacts was developed. The results showed that gender gaps still exist in adoption and adaptive capacities. Over 70% of the male farmers adopted the climate smart agriculture technologies, while less than 30% of the female farmers adopted the technologies. The main constraints leading to low adoption among female farmers were high input demand and cost of inputs, labour requirement, lack of credit opportunities and income. Female farmers adopted technologies that required less input and were labour saving. In general, female farmers had lower adaptive capacity than male farmers. Farmers who had low adaptive capacity adopted few technologies. There is an urgent need for cost-effective and labour-saving technologies, policies and plans that enhance adaptive capacity of farmers, particularly female farmers.


Gender Adoption Climate smart agriculture technologies Adaptive capacity 



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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tasokwa Kakota Chibowa
    • 1
  • Gry Synnevag
    • 2
  • Beston Maonga
    • 1
  • Michael Mainje
    • 3
  1. 1.Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR)LilongweMalawi
  2. 2.Noragric, University of Life SciencesÅsNorway
  3. 3.Development Fund of NorwayLilongweMalawi

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