Advertisement

Bespoke Adaptation in Rural Africa? An Asset-Based Approach from Southern Ethiopia

  • Rahwa Kidane
  • Martin ProwseEmail author
  • Andreas de Neergaard
Original Article
  • 47 Downloads

Abstract

Debates on adaptation in rural Africa rarely consider how responses to climate variability vary by wealth group. This study examines differences across wealth groups based on principal component analysis and cluster analysis triangulated with participatory methods. Results indicate that perceptions of weather variability and extreme events are detected by most households regardless of wealth status. The most common responses—using drought-resistant crops and changing planting dates—are also similar across groups. However, there are significant differences in the type of adaptation options adopted by wealthier and poorer farmers: the former intensify agriculture through improved seed varieties, fertiliser and manure; the latter depend on craft activities, seasonal migration and support from relatives and neighbours. Overall, our findings suggest that measuring asset holdings could allow a differentiated approach to supporting adaptation across socio-economic groups in rural regions in Ethiopia and Africa more broadly.

Keywords

Smallholders Adaptation Wealth groups Ethiopia Africa 

Résumé

Les débats sur l'adaptation en Afrique rurale prennent rarement en compte la façon dont les réponses à la variabilité du climat varient selon le niveau de richesse d’un groupe. Cette étude examine les différences entre groupes de divers niveaux de richesse, par l'analyse des principaux composants et l'analyse par grappes, ainsi qu’avec des méthodes participatives. Les résultats indiquent que la plupart des ménages détectent la variabilité des conditions météorologiques et les phénomènes extrêmes, quel que soit leur niveau de richesse. Les stratégies les plus courantes – telles qu’utiliser des semences résistantes à la sécheresse et changer les dates de plantation – sont également semblables entre les groupes. Toutefois, il existe des différences significatives dans le type d'options d'adaptation choisies entre les agriculteurs les plus riches et les plus pauvres: les premiers intensifient l'agriculture grâce à l'amélioration des variétés de semences, des engrais et du fumier; ces derniers dépendent des activités artisanales, de la migration saisonnière et du soutien familial et du voisinage. Dans l'ensemble, nos résultats suggèrent que mesurer le niveau de richesse des ménages pourrait permettre la mise en place d’une approche différenciée pour soutenir l'adaptation dans les divers groupes socio-économiques des régions rurales en Éthiopie et, plus largement, en Afrique.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank TEAGASC project staff for facilitating fieldwork and the Danish government for funding which allowed this study to be completed.

References

  1. Adger, W.N. 2010. Social capital, collective action, and adaptation to climate change. In Der klimawandel (pp. 327–345). VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.Google Scholar
  2. Adger, W.N., S. Huq, K. Brown, D. Conway, and M. Hulme. 2003. Adaptation to climate change in the developing world. Progress in Development Studies 3: 179–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Adger, W.N., S. Agrawala, M.M.Q. Mirza, et al. 2007. Assessment of adaptation practices, options, constraints and capacity. Climate Change 2007: Impacts adaptation and vulnerability contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 717–743. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Adger, W.N., S. Dessai, M. Goulden, M. Hulme, I. Lorenzoni, D.R. Nelson, L.O. Naess, and A. Wreford. 2009. Are there social limits to adaptation to climate change? Climatic Change 93: 35–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Adger, W.N., J. Barnett, K. Brown, N. Marshall, and K. O’Brien. 2013. Cultural dimensions of climate change impacts and adaptation. Nature Climate Change 3: 112–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Alobo, S.L. 2015. Rural livelihood diversification in Sub-Saharan Africa: A literature review. The Journal of Development Studies 51 (9): 1125–1138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Armah, F., A. Luginaah, I. Hambati, H. Chuenpagdee, and R. Campbell. 2015. Assessing barriers to adaptation to climate change in coastal Tanzania: Does where you live matter? Population and Environment 37: 231–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Below, T.B., K.D. Mutabazi, D. Kirschke, C. Franke, S. Sieber, R. Siebert, and K. Tscherning. 2012. Can farmers’ adaptation to climate change be explained by socio-economic household-level variables? Global Environmental Change 22: 223–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berg, A., N. de Noblet-Ducoudré, B. Sultan, M. Lengaigne, and M. Guimberteau. 2013. Projections of climate change impacts on potential C4 crop productivity over tropical regions. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 170: 89–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bewket, W. 2012. Climate change perceptions and adaptive responses of smallholder farmers in central highlands of Ethiopia. International Journal of Environmental Studies 69: 507–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brück, T., S.W. Kebede, 2013. Dynamics and drivers of consumption and multidimensional poverty: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7364, Bonn, Germany.Google Scholar
  12. Bryan, E., T.T. Deressa, G.A. Gbetibouo, and C. Ringler. 2009. Adaptation to climate change in Ethiopia and South Africa: Options and constraints. Environmental Science & Policy 12: 413–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bryan, E., C. Ringler, B. Okoba, C. Roncoli, S. Silvestri, and M. Herrero. 2013. Adapting agriculture to climate change in Kenya: Household strategies and determinants. Journal of Environmental Management 114: 26–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Carter, M.R., and C.B. Barrett. 2006. The economics of poverty traps and persistent poverty: An asset-based approach. The Journal of Development Studies 42 (2): 178–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Conway, D., and E.L.F. Schipper. 2011. Adaptation to climate change in Africa: Challenges and opportunities identified from Ethiopia. Global Environmental Change 21: 227–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Conway, D., C. Mould, and W. Bewket. 2004. Over one century of rainfall and temperature observations in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. International Journal of Climatology 24: 77–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Corbett, J. 1988. Famine and household coping strategies. World Development 16 (9): 1099–1112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dang, H.L, E. Li, J. Bruwer, and I. Nuberg. 2014. ‘Farmers’ perceptions of climate variability and barriers to adaptation: lessons learned from an exploratory study in Vietnam. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 19: 531–548.Google Scholar
  19. Deressa, T.T., R.M. Hassan, C. Ringle, T. Alemu, and M. Yesuf. 2009. Determinants of farmers’ choice of adaptation methods to climate change in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia. Global Environmental Change 19: 248–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Deressa, T.T., R.M. Hassan, and C. Ringler. 2011. Perception of and adaptation to climate change by farmers in the Nile basin of Ethiopia. The Journal of Agricultural Science 149: 23–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Diao, X. 2010. Economic importance of agriculture for sustainable development and poverty reduction: The case study of Ethiopia Global forum on agriculture 29–30 November 2010, Policies for agricultural development, poverty reduction and food security. OECD Headquarters, Paris. http://www.oecd.org/agriculture/agricultural-policies/46378942.pdf. Accessed 1 June 2016.
  22. Dorward, A., S. Anderson, Y. Nava, J. Pattison, R. Paz, J. Rushton, and E. Sanchez Vera. 2009. Hanging in, stepping up and stepping out: Livelihood aspirations and strategies of the poor. Development in Practice 19 (2): 240–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dossa, L.H., A. Abdulkadir, H. Amadou, S. Sangare, and E. Schlecht. 2011. Exploring the diversity of urban and peri-urban agricultural systems in Sudano-Sahelian West Africa: An attempt towards a regional typology. Landscape and Urban Planning 102: 197–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ellis, F. 2000. Rural livelihoods and diversity in developing countries. Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
  25. Ferede, T., A.B. Ayenew, M.A. Hanjra, and M. Hanjra. 2013. Agroecology matters: Impacts of climate change on agriculture and its implications for food security in Ethiopia, 71–112. Global food security: Emerging issues and economic implications.Google Scholar
  26. Filmer, D., and L.H. Pritchett. 2001. Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data—or tears: An application to educational enrollments in states of India. Demography 38 (1): 115–132.Google Scholar
  27. Fisher, M., M. Chaudhury, and B. McCusker. 2010. Do forests help rural households adapt to climate variability? Evidence from Southern Malawi. World Development 38: 1241–1250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gbetibouo, G.A. 2009. Understanding farmers’ perceptions and adaptations to climate change and variability: The case of the Limpopo Basin, South Africa. In: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Discussion paper 00849.Google Scholar
  29. Gray, C., and V. Mueller. 2012. Drought and population mobility in rural Ethiopia. World Development 40 (1): 134–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Grothmann, T., and A. Patt. 2005. Adaptive capacity and human cognition: The process of individual adaptation to climate change. Global Environmental Change 15: 199–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Haggblade, S., P. Hazell, and T. Reardon. 2010. The rural non-farm economy: Prospects for growth and poverty reduction. World Development 38 (10): 1429–1441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hansen, J.W., W.E. Baethgen, D.E. Osgood, P.N. Ceccato, and R.K. Ngugi. 2007. Innovations in climate risk management: Protecting and building rural livelihoods in a variable and changing climate. Journal of Semi-Arid Tropical Agricultural Research 4: 1.Google Scholar
  33. Hartter, J., M.D. Stampone, S.J. Ryan, K. Kirner, C.A. Chapman, and A. Goldman. 2012. Patterns and perceptions of climate change in a biodiversity conservation hotspot. PLoS ONE 7: e32408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. HRD (Humanitarian Requirement Document). 2015. Ethiopia 2016: Joint Government and Humanitarian partners’ Document. Addis Ababa: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. http://www.unicef.org/ethiopia/ECO_Ethiopia_HRD_2016.pdf. Accessed 1 June 2016.
  35. Hisali, E., P. Birungi, and F. Buyinza. 2011. Adaptation to climate change in Uganda: Evidence from micro level data. Global Environmental Change 21: 1245–1261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. IPCC. 2014. Summary for policymakers. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: Global and sectoral aspects. Contribution of working group II to the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 1–32 [Field CB, Barros VR, Dokken DJ, Mach, KJ et al]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Kassie, B., H. Hengsdijk, R. Rötter, H. Kahiluoto, S. Asseng, and M. Van Ittersum. 2013. Adapting to climate variability and change: Experiences from cereal-based farming in the Central Rift and Kobo Valleys, Ethiopia. Environmental Management 52: 1115–1131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Klein, R.J.T., G.F. Midgley, B.L. Preston, et al. 2014. Adaptation opportunities, constraints, and limits. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: Global and sectoral aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 899–943. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Kuntashula, E., L. Chabala, T. Chibwe, and P. Kaluba. 2015. The effects of household wealth on adoption of agricultural related climate change adaptation strategies in Zambia. Sustainable Agriculture Research 4: 88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Maddison, D.J. 2007. The perception of and adaptation to climate change in Africa. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 4308.Google Scholar
  41. Mertz, O., C. Mbow, J.Ø. Nielsen, A. Maiga, D. Diallo, et al. 2010. Climate factors play a limited role for past adaptation strategies in West Africa. Ecology and Society 15: 25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Meze-Hausken, E. 2004. Contrasting climate variability and meteorological drought with perceived drought and climate change in northern Ethiopia. Climate Research 27: 19–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Moser, C., and J.A. Ekstrom. 2010. A framework to diagnose barriers to climate change adaptation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences United States of America 107: 22026–22031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Moser, C. 2011. A conceptual and operational framework for pro-poor asset adaptation to urban climate change. In Cities and Climate Change: Responding to an Urgent Agenda, 1st ed. Washington DC: World Bank Publications.Google Scholar
  45. Müller, C., W. Cramer, W.L. Hare, and H. Lotze-Campen. 2011. Climate change risks for African agriculture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences United States of America 108: 4313–4315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mwangi, W.M. 1996. Low use of fertilizers and low productivity in sub-Saharan Africa. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 47: 135–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Niang I, Ruppel OC, Abdrabo MA et al (2014) Africa In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part B: Regional Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 1199–1265. Cambridge and New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Nielsen, J.Ø., and A. Reenberg. 2010. Cultural barriers to climate change adaptation: A case study from Northern Burkina Faso. Global Environmental Change 20: 142–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. NMSA National (Meteorological Services Agency). 2001. Initial National Communication of Ethiopia to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Addis Abab: NMSA.Google Scholar
  50. Paul, S.K., and J.K. Routray. 2011. Household response to cyclone and induced surge in coastal Bangladesh: Coping strategies and explanatory variables. Natural Hazards 57: 477–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Robinson, S., K. Strzepek, R. Cervigni. 2013. The cost of adapting to climate change in Ethiopia: Sector-wise and macro-economic estimates. Ethiopia Strategy Support Program II (ESSP) working Paper 53.Google Scholar
  52. Roco, L., A. Engler, B.E. Bravo-Ureta, and R. Jara-Rojas. 2015. Farmers’ perception of climate change in mediterranean Chile. Regional Environmental Change 15: 867–879.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rowhani, P., D.B. Lobell, M. Linderman, and N. Ramankutty. 2011. Climate variability and crop production in Tanzania. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 151: 449–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sabates-Wheeler, R., T. Mitchell, and F. Ellis. 2008. Avoiding repetition: Time for CBA to engage with the livelihoods literature. IDS Bulletin 39: 53–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Seleshi, Y., and U. Zanke. 2004. Recent changes in rainfall and rainy days in Ethiopia. International Journal of Climatology 24: 973–983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Silvestri, S., E. Bryan, C. Ringler, M. Herrero, and B. Okoba. 2012. Climate change perception and adaptation of agro-pastoral communities in Kenya. Regional Environmental Change 12: 791–802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sivakumar, M.V.K., H.P. Das, and O. Brunini. 2005. Impacts of present and future climate variability and change on agriculture and forestry in the arid and semi-arid tropics. Climatic Change 70: 31–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Slegers, M.F. 2008. “If only it would rain”: Farmers’ perceptions of rainfall and drought in semi-arid central Tanzania. Journal of Arid Environments 72: 2106–2123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Smit, B., I. Burton, R.J. Klein, and J. Wandel. 2000. An anatomy of adaptation to climate change and variability. Climatic Change 45: 223–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Speranza, C.I., B. Kiteme, P. Ambenje, U. Wiesmann, and S. Makali. 2010. Indigenous knowledge related to climate variability and change: Insights from droughts in semi-arid areas of former Makueni District, Kenya. Climatic Change 100: 295–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Stein, A., and C. Moser. 2014. Asset planning for climate change adaptation: Lessons from Cartagena, Colombia. Environment and Urbanization 26 (1): 166–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Strzepek, K., A. Mccluskey. 2006. District level hydro-climatic time series and scenario analysis to assess the impacts of climate change on regional water resources and agriculture in Africa. CEEPA Discussion Paper No. 13, Pretoria.Google Scholar
  63. Tambo, J.A., and T. Abdoulaye. 2012. Climate change and agricultural technology adoption: The case of drought tolerant maize in rural Nigeria. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 17: 277–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Tambo, J.A., and T. Abdoulaye. 2013. Smallholder farmers’ perceptions of and adaptations to climate change in the Nigerian savanna. Regional Environmental Change 13: 375–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Tessema, Y.A., C.S. Aweke, and G.S. Endris. 2013. Understanding the process of adaptation to climate change by small-holder farmers: The case of east Hararghe Zone, Ethiopia. Agricultural and Food Economics 1: 13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Thomas, D.S., and C. Twyman. 2003. Equity and justice in climate change adaptation amongst natural-resource dependent societies. Global Environmental Change 15: 115–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Thomas, D.S., C. Twyman, H. Osbahr, and B. Hewitson. 2007. Adaptation to climate change and variability: Farmer responses to intra-seasonal precipitation trends in South Africa. Climatic Change 83: 301–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Thornton, P.K., M. Herrero, H.A. Freeman, A.O. Mwai, E. Rege, P.G. Jones, and J. McDermott. 2007. Vulnerability, climate change and livestock-opportunities and challenges for the poor. Journal of Statistical and Agricultural Research 4: 1–23.Google Scholar
  69. Thornton, P., T. Robinson, R. Kruska, P. Jones, J. McDermott, R. Reid. 2005. Cattle Trypanosomiasis in Africa to 2030. UK Office of Science and Innovation. Foresight project—detection of infectious diseases: Preparing for the future. T8.8.Google Scholar
  70. West, C.T., C. Roncoli, and F. Ouattara. 2008. Local perceptions and regional climate trends on the central plateau of Burkina Faso. Land Degradation and Development 19: 289–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Wood, S.A., A.S. Jina, M. Jain, P. Kristjanson, and R.S. DeFries. 2014. Smallholder farmer cropping decisions related to climate variability across multiple regions. Global Environmental Change 25: 163–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Ziervogel, G., S. Bharwani, and T.E. Downing. 2006. Adapting to climate variability: Pumpkins, people and policy. Natural Resources Forum 30: 294–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zimmerman, F.J., and M.R. Carter. 2003. Asset smoothing, consumption smoothing and the reproduction of inequality under risk and subsistence constraints. Journal of Development Economics 71: 233–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rahwa Kidane
    • 1
  • Martin Prowse
    • 2
    Email author
  • Andreas de Neergaard
    • 3
  1. 1.Geography, Environment and Population, School of Social SciencesUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Human GeographyLund UniversityLundSweden
  3. 3.Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen KDenmark

Personalised recommendations