Managing Vulnerability to Drought and Enhancing Smallholder Farmers Resilience to Climate Change Risks in Zimbabwe

  • Obert JiriEmail author
  • Paramu L. Mafongoya
Reference work entry


Smallholder farmers experience a myriad of climate change risks and weather variability challenges. The effects of climate change threats are expected to worsen, and smallholder farmers’ vulnerability to these threats is projected to increase. While the research community has been highly engaged in detecting global climate change and attributing this change to anthropogenic causes, data-driven analysis of adaptation options has been weak. In Southern Africa, smallholder farmers have been coping and adapting to climate threats, using their own indigenous knowledge systems. As climate change effects increase, smallholder farmers are failing to cope effectively.

This paper focuses on the role of indigenous knowledge systems and their use in agricultural adaptation by smallholder farmers. It also reviews the role of IKS-based adaptation strategies in the development of locally relevant adaptation policies. The review concludes that policy development should not be distant from community concerns and through integration of IKS, policies become relevant to community needs and concerns; hence they become part of the community.


Vulnerability Climate change adaptation Smallholder farmers 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agricultural Practice, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe
  2. 2.School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalPietermaritzburgSouth Africa

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