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Farmers’ perspective towards climate change vulnerability, risk perceptions, and adaptation measures in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

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Abstract

Pakistan has become a highly vulnerable country with considerable exposure to climate change. Over the past few decades, Pakistan has endured many severe floods, droughts, and storms. However, limited research was conducted into farmers’ perspectives towards climate change vulnerability, risk perceptions, and adaptation measures at the farm level in Pakistan. The current research uses a dataset of 600 farm households collected through a structured questionnaire from four districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The study identified the farm level climatic risks perceived by the farm households including flood (60%), crop pest (56%), insect attacks (55%), extreme temperatures (54%), human diseases (54%), and livestock diseases (46%). The farm households also reported negative impacts (decrease in crop production, waterlogging, and changes in cropping calendars and positive effects (e.g., better crop production) arising from changing climate and associated threats. Further, this study identified different adaptation strategies adopted at the farm level to mitigate the adverse effects and related risks of rising climatic conditions that include changing crop varieties (37%), planting shade trees (32%), changing planting dates (31%), changing methods of fertilizer usage (26%), changing crop type (14%), soil conservation measures (11%) and crop diversification (9%). The logistic regression analysis revealed that the farm experience, education, land area, ZTBL credit, and climatic information from the relevant government department were important factors that influenced farm household adaptation measures in the study areas. Also, the study found that farm households had faced numerous constraints that could influence adaptation decisions, including financial constraints (28%), lack of knowledge and information (25%), inadequate farm resources (23%) in the study areas. Other restrictions to adaptations included the lack of public or private institutional support (14%), and lack of irrigation water (10%). The present research shows the need to implement policies that tackle adaptation barriers, and ensure that local institutions are available and ready to provide farmers with more up-to-date information and farm advisory to combat climate change and its negative consequences.

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Acknowledgements

We are extremely thankful to the community representatives for their effective support and coordination in organizing and conducting successful interviews. Further, we would like to thank our survey team members for conducting interviews.

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Correspondence to A. A. Shah.

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The authors declared that they did not have any conflict of interest. Availability of data and material: data will be provided upon request.

Ethical approval

As this study is about the socio-economic implications, it is why Ethical clearance was not taken. In Pakistan, the ethical clearance body (National Bioethics Committee) issues clearance numbers to basic sciences experiments oftenly, containing human or animal tissues, etc. However, authors and enumerators have taken verbal consent from the study participants before the conductance of the survey. The verbal consent of all the respondents was taken. Participants were briefed that their data would only be used for the study purpose and they agreed to give the required information.

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Editorial responsibility: Agnieszka Galuszka.

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Shah, A.A., Khan, N.A., Gong, Z. et al. Farmers’ perspective towards climate change vulnerability, risk perceptions, and adaptation measures in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 20, 1421–1438 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13762-022-04077-z

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