Determinants in the adoption of climate change adaptation strategies: evidence from rainfed-dependent smallholder farmers in north-central Ethiopia (Woleka sub-basin)

  • Amogne Asfaw
  • Belay Simane
  • Amare Bantider
  • Ali Hassen


Smallholder rainfed agriculture, which is the mainstay of rural communities in Ethiopia, is negatively affected by climate change. Understanding the adaptations being practiced and factors which determine decision in adoption is vital in designing viable strategies. A cross-sectional survey research design was employed to collect data from 384 randomly selected smallholder farmers to identify adaptation measures being undertaken and to estimate the prominent determinants in the adoption of adaptations in drought-prone areas of north-central Ethiopia. Data were analyzed using percentage, weighted mean index, Chi-square test, t test and multinomial regression model and triangulated with thematic analysis. Around 96% of the respondents have perceived a change in climate and 65.4% employed adaptation measures. Stone/soil bund, changing the farming calendar and switching to short maturing varieties are the most widely practiced adaptations. Barriers inhibiting smallholder farmers from taking adaptation measures were financial constraint, lack of affordable technologies, lack of knowledge, limited access to early warning, uncertainty about the future, shortage of land and scarcity of water. The results from the multinomial discrete choice model revealed that age and educational level of the head, family size, herd size, access to training, access to microfinance, extension services, remittance and perceiving that climate change can be adapted influenced the selection of adaptations. Overcoming financial constraint, strengthening extension service, providing timely information and early warning, intensifying irrigation, integration of non-farm sources of livelihood in the farming system and land resource management would enable to enhance the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers.


Climate change Adaptation Adaptive capacity Coping strategies Multinomial logit model Smallholder agriculture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amogne Asfaw
    • 1
  • Belay Simane
    • 2
  • Amare Bantider
    • 3
  • Ali Hassen
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Development Studies (Center for Rural Development Studies)Addis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  2. 2.College of Development Studies (Center for Environment and Development Studies)Addis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  3. 3.College of Development Studies (Center for Food Security Studies)Addis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia

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