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Climate change effects on agricultural production: insights for adaptation strategy from the context of smallholder farmers in Dura catchment, northern Ethiopia

  • Gebreyesus Brhane TesfahunegnEmail author
  • Teklebirhan Arefaine Gebru


Few efforts have been reported about climate change effects on agriculture production from smallholder farmers’ conditions. The objective of this study was to assess smallholder farmers’ understanding on the effects of climate change on agriculture production in Dura catchment, northern Ethiopia. Data were collected using group discussions and semi-structured interview of 79 sample household heads from the study catchment. Data were subjected to descriptive, Chi square and t test. The majority of the respondents reported that variability in management practices and farm and institutional attributes influenced significantly farmers understanding of the effects of climate change on agricultural production. A significantly higher proportion of farmers (98%) identified food and feed shortage as the major indicators of the effects of climate change on production. Significantly higher proportions of farmers reported that there are crop types towards disappearing from farmers fields (e.g., barley, sorghum) and livestock (e.g., horse), reduced in area coverage (e.g., lentil, faba bean), expanded in area coverage (e.g., tef, maize, chick pea, cauliflower, tomato) in response to climatic change effects. Farmers’ also classified the different crops into different sensitivity classes as 57% of the farmers reported that tef is not sensitive to climate change effects. A significantly higher proportion of farmers (98%) confirmed that one of the potential and serous impacts of climate change is to decrease in economics of the community. Promotion of robust adaptation strategies such as water harvesting, irrigation, stress tolerant crop varieties, in the context of climate change are thus suggested for the conditions of smallholder farmers’ in northern Ethiopia.


Adaptation strategy Agricultural technology Crop type Management practice 



This research was financially supported by University of Aksum under the terms of Grant No. referenced as AKU/IG/RCSD/1092/07. The authors gratefully acknowledge for the financial support by Aksum University for this research. The authors are also highly grateful for the cooperation of the farmers and assistance offered by the local administration and development agents during the study data collection.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil Resources and Watershed Management, College of AgricultureAksum UniversityShireEthiopia
  2. 2.Department of Water Resource and Irrigation Engineering, School of Water TechnologyAksum UniversityShireEthiopia

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