Front Page Slideshow

Climate Change

1.Effects of climate change on small-scale farmers in the Eastern Cape: a preliminary study

Authors: V Maphosa, B Muchara PJ Masika and C.Tichagwa.

Abstract

A survey was conducted in Njwaxa and Saki villages of Nkonkobe local municipality in the Eastern Cape Province, with the aim of determining the nature of changes in agricultural productivity due to climate change, and identifying strategies adopted by farmers to cope with climate change effects. A semi structured questionnaire was used to collect data from a random sample of 100 households, and 10 key informants comprising traditional leaders. Both quantitative and qualitative data was collected and analyzed using SPSS. The survey revealed that most farmers (60%) perceive that climate has influenced agriculture in recent years. A significant 93% of the farmers believe that there has been reduction in rainfall over years. Water in dams is no longer reliable, with 81% respondents indicating changes in dam water holding capacities. The expected drying months for the dams 10 years ago were July /August, but now it barely goes as far as June. The expected month of filling up of dams was Nov/December in the 10 years ago, but now they never fill up. Farmers (78 %) indicated that temperature has continually increased over the past years, whereas 56% of the farmers believe that bush encroachment by thorny bushes (Acacia) is on the increase, affecting nutrition of the animals in terms of both quality and quantity. The survey also revealed that 80% of respondents owned different livestock species with the majority of the people keeping goats, probably due to their cultural importance in the Province. Results also showed that there is a general decline in the average numbers of livestock owned to date, with cattle being the most affected.

Coping strategies by smallholders included targeting non-farm activities as sources of livelihood,  

diversification of activities so as to spread risks and boost  income, keeping of smaller livestock that do not demand high volumes of water, and keeping more of goats than cattle and sheep as they are browsers. The study revealed changes in agricultural productivity brought in by climate change; as well as some adaptation strategies by farmers. We however intend to conduct a more detailed baseline study covering the whole province of the Eastern Cape after which some innovations will be suggested and implemented.

Key words: Climate change effects; small-scale farmers; Eastern Cape; survey

2.The impact of climate change on livestock production amongst the resource-poor farmers in Third World Countries: A review

Authors:L. Musemwa1 and V. Muchenje2

[1] Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Centre, University Of Fort Hare, P. Bag X1314, Alice 5700, RSA, Tel: +27 791 052 7070, Email:lmusemwa@yahoo.co.uk

2 Department of Livestock and Pasture Science, University Of Fort Hare, P. Bag X1314, Alice 5700, RSA.

Abstract

Most developing countries are currently experiencing average high temperatures and low precipitation, frequent droughts and scarcity of both ground and surface water. The damaging effects of global temperature are increasing and most damages are predicted to occur in developing countries. Currently, the agricultural sector is being affected the most due to over-reliance on low input rain-fed agricultural production. Due to the erratic rainfall and high incidence of droughts which make crop production not feasible, the majority of the rural population in Third World Countries depends on livestock production for their livelihoods. The livestock sector is, however, considered very vulnerable to climate variability and change. Floods, droughts, diseases and poor grazing conditions are some of the factors currently causing significant livestock losses. The problems being encountered by the livestock farmers in most of the Third World Countries are expected to worsen in future due to the effects of climate change. This therefore makes the study of impact of climate change on livestock production a vital concern in the world, particularly in developing countries where many rural households depend on livestock for their livelihoods. This paper therefore looks at both the direct and indirect effects of climate change on livestock production. Strategies to curtail the effect of climate change on livestock production are also reviewed.

Keywords: Erratic rainfall, developing countries, diseases, floods, local breeds, temperature variability

 

2.  Perceptions on climate change effects and adaptation strategies by rural communities in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

L. Zhou, L. Musemwa & V. Maphosa

 

This paper presents in-depth Eastern Cape Province case study findings on rural household vulnerability and coping strategies to climate change. Eastern Cape Province is one of the poorest provinces in South Africa, nearly 60% of which live below the poverty line. This extreme high incidence of poverty and jobless renders the majority of these people highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as they are heavily dependent upon government social grants and rain-fed crop and livestock production for their livelihood. Given the current economic situation in the mining sector and commercial farming of frequent wild–cat strikes, the government has lost a substantial amount of revenue inform of tax. This is most likely to impact negatively on the social policy of South Africa. On the other hand, the agricultural sector is being affected by high temperatures, low precipitation and frequent droughts. Eastern South Africa is projected to experience drier and hotter extreme weather events such as flash floods and droughts. The government of South Africa is facing challenges on how best to prepare communities for climate change in such a manner that they could benefit from positive changes that minimize the negative effects. Communities already face bleak prospects, have insecure livelihoods, and are uncertain of obtaining food on a daily basis. Both adaption and mitigation strategies should be put in place so as to reduce the impact of climate change on rural farmers who depend on crop and livestock production for their livelihoods. The challenge is that climate change in South Africa is a relatively new issue. There is a limited human capacity and financial capital to create educational resources and to conduct training programmes for the farming communities on the new technologies and adaptations strategies. Adaptation for the future in agriculture is all about staying ahead and being progressive by optimizing climatic conditions in order to maximize output in a sustainable manner and maintaining a competitive edge. From the surveys that were conducted in the province, farmers perceive that there is a change in climate, reporting a decrease in amount of rainfall in the current years than in the past, and dwindling water resources. They also reported an increase in; temperatures, intensity of snow, intensity of droughts. Emergence of new disease and ticks and degradation of grazing land due to increased Intensity of bush encroachment, thus posing some challenges on livestock farmers. In trying to reduce the impact of climate change on their farming activities, some farmers reduce cattle and substitute them with sheep and goats. Some farmers buy feed supplements for their livestock. Other farmers send their livestock (cattle) to areas where there is better grazing. While some farmers decided to sell all their livestock and engage in non-farming activities. Some of the farmers use different combination of the strategies mentioned above. Most of the farmers have reported that they have stopped growing crops on their arable land. They had positive hope on non-agricultural project as the only strategy that the government should promote in their communities to serve them from food insecurity.

Keywords: Adaptation, climate change, livelihood, perception, South Africa, Vulnerability

Abstract submitted to the Africa Climate Conference 2013,15-18 October - Arusha, Tanzania

3.The Impact of Climate Change on Livestock Production amongst the Resource-Poor Farmers of Third World Countries: A Review

L. Musemwa, V. Muchenje, A. Mushunje, L. Zhou

The world is currently experiencing average high temperatures and low precipitation, frequent droughts and scarcity of both ground and surface water. The damaging effects of global climate change are increasing and most damages are predicted to occur in developing countries due to their over-reliance on low-input rain-fed agricultural production and their low adaptive capacity. Due to the erratic rainfall and high incidence of droughts which make crop production not feasible, the majority of the rural population in Third World Countries depends on livestock production for their livelihoods. The livestock sector is, however, considered very vulnerable to climate variability and change. Floods, droughts, diseases and poor grazing conditions are some of the factors currently causing significant livestock losses. The problems being encountered by the livestock farmers in most of the Third World Countries are expected to worsen in future due to the effects of climate change. This therefore makes the study of impact of climate change on livestock production a vital concern in the world, particularly in developing countries where many rural households depend on livestock production for their livelihoods. This article therefore looks at both the direct and indirect effects of climate change on livestock production. Strategies to curtail the effect of climate change on livestock production are also recommended in the paper.

Keywords: Erratic rainfall, developing countries, diseases, floods, local breeds, temperature variability

Full Length Research Paper:  Asian Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 621 – 631, December 2012.

Available online at http://aessweb.com/abstract.php?m=December(2)2012&id=5005&aid=1725

Policy briefs

http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/business/2015/02/07/maize-crops-may-decline#

Articles

Climate change, household vulnerability and smart agriculture: The case of two South African provinces. Journal of Disaster Risk Studies; Vol 8, No 2 (2016), 14 pages

Mkhululi Ncube, Nomonde Madubula, Hlami Ngwenya, Nkulumo Zinyengere, Leocadia Zhou, Joseph Francis, Talentus Mthunzi, Crespo Olivier, Tshilidzi Madzivhandila

Abstract

The impact of climate-change disasters poses significant challenges for South Africa, especially for vulnerable rural households. In South Africa, the impact of climate change at the local level, especially in rural areas, is not well known. Rural households are generally poor and lack resources to adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change, but the extent of their vulnerability are largely not understood. This study looked at the micro-level impact of climate change, evaluated household vulnerability and assessed alternative adaptation strategies in rural areas. The results indicate that climate change will hit crop yields hard and that households with less capital are most vulnerable. These households consist of the elderly and households headed by females. Households that receive remittances or extension services or participate in formal savings schemes in villages are less vulnerable. The results suggest that households need to move towards climate-smart agriculture, which combines adaptation, mitigation and productivity growth.

 

The Impact of Climate Change on Food Security among Coastal Communities of Keiskamma, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.Final Project Report for 2011 START Grants for Global Change Research in Africa. Sustainable Seas Trust (104 pgs)

Ribbink A.J., Zhou L., de Wet C.J. and Adams J.G.  2011

Abstract

Communities of the Keiskamma River are vulnerable to climate change. They are impoverished, dependent upon goods and services of natural ecosystems on land, along the seashore and the estuary, all of which are in decline. The majority of families (70% or more) also rely on social grants provided by the government, but some depend upon incomes that family members earn through employment. There is little security regarding food as the collection of food from the aquatic systems is unsustainable, income is insecure and uncertain, and agriculture, including gardening, is in serious decline. A multidisciplinary team from universities and NGOs worked with the communities to map out a better future in the face of climatic uncertainty. Social scientists relied most heavily on interviews, and the natural scientists upon water, biological and soil samples. Much more work is required, but momentum has developed so that education and skills training, and profitable rehabilitation of ecosystems with community ownership and redevelopment of food gardens are priority objectives. Significantly, community members who attended the feedback workshop concluded that, rather than wait for government handouts, they should develop a forum to play a leadership role to cope with food security in the face of climate change.

 

Historical rainfall variability in selected rainfall stations in Eastern Cape, South Africa. 2014. South African Geographical Journal. Vol 98 (1).

Rebecca Zengenia, Vincent Kakembob and Nsalambi Nkongoloc

Abstract

There is evidence of climate shifts in Africa shown by changing rainfall patterns, temperatures and increased fire incidences. As such, the annual rainfall variability for 41 years (1970–2010) for nine stations at Amakhala reserve, Grahamstown, Bathurst, Port Alfred, Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape, South Africa was studied through trend and time series analysis. In order to identify the trends for extreme rainfall events, the daily rainfall index (DI), highest daily rainfall and frequency of dry and wet spells for the stations were also analysed. Pearson's product moment correlation test was used to compute relationships between measured parameters over the years. Results showed a declining trend in annual rainfall over time at Grahamstown (r = − 0.59), Uitenhage and Bathurst (r = − 0.32), while Amakhala, Port Alfred and Port Elizabeth remained unchanged. Most of the rainfall declines occurred in the 1980s and 1990s sub-periods, with both the DI and daily rainfall subclasses above 10 mm showing similar declines. The frequency of dry days decreased with time at Port Alfred and Uitenhage, while the length of dry spells increased at Bathurst (r = +0.41). Reports from the literature suggest that the 1970s–1990s rainfall variations were due to the El Niño southern oscillation cycle and sea surface temperatures over the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, which gave drier conditions during El Niño and wetter than normal conditions during La Niño events.

 

Climate Change Awareness and Decision on Adaptation Measures by Livestock Farmers in South Africa. Journal of Agricultural Science. Vol 3 (3). 2011

B. Mandleni, F.D.K. Anim

Abstract

This paper investigated the extent of awareness of climate change by livestock farmers in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It further explored the choice of adaptation measures that were followed and factors that affected adaption measures. The results indicated that marital status, level of education, formal extension, temperatures and the way in which land was acquired, significantly affected awareness of climate change. Variables that significantly affected adaptation selections were gender, formal extension, information received about climate change, temperatures and the way in which land was acquired. The study suggested that the positive and significant variables that affected awareness and adaptation measures by livestock farmers be considered when awareness and adaptation strategies are implemented.

Impact on climate change and adaptation on cattle and sheep farming in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. 2011-10 (Thesis)

Mandleni, Busisiwe

Abstract

This study focused on the impact of climate change and adaptation on small-scale cattle and sheep farming in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Using information from 500 livestock farmers between 2005 and 2009 farming season, three methods of analysis were used to determine impacts of climate change and adaptation. They were Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Binary Logistic Regression Model (BLRM) and Heckman Probit Model (HPM). Findings revealed that cattle production decreased during the study period 2005 to 2009. Preliminary descriptive statistics results indicated that farmers had different perceptions on climate change and adaptation measures between the periods 2005 and 2009. Further analysis using PCA showed that the different perceptions could be grouped into: (i) drought and windy weather patterns; (ii) information and adaptation; (iii) climate change extension services; (iv) intensive cattle and sheep production; and (v) temperatures. The results of the BLRM indicated that the most significant factors that affected climate change and adaptation were: (i) non-farm income per annum; (ii) type of weather perceived from 2005 to 2009; (iii) livestock production and ownership; (iv) distance to weather stations; (v) distance to input markets; (vi) adaptation strategies and (vii) annual average temperature. From the HPM the results indicated that marital status, level of education, formal extension, temperatures and the way in which land was acquired, significantly affected awareness on climate change. Variables that significantly affected adaptation selections were gender, formal extension, information received on climate change, temperatures and the way in which land was acquired.It was concluded that in the area of study, change in climate was already perceived by small-scale cattle and sheep farmers. Households that perceived differences in seasonal temperatures during the survey period were less likely to adapt to climate change. Having access to extension services increased the likelihood of adaptation to climate change. Information on climate change to improve livestock production appeared to play a significant role in the selection of adaptation measures. The recommendation was that government should consider cattle and sheep farmers’ perceptions on climate change when deciding on programmes for cattle and sheep production. It further suggested that the most significant factors that affected climate change, adaptation, and awareness and adaptation selections be considered when adaptation programmes are planned.

Perceptions of Cattle and Sheep Farmers on Climate Change and Adaptation in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Journal of Human Ecology. Vol 34 (2): 107-112

B. Mandleni* and F. D. K. Anim

Abstract

This study examined the perceptions of cattle and sheep farmers on climate change and adaptation in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Using information from 500 livestock farmers between 2005 and 2009 farming season, preliminary descriptive statistics results indicated that farmers had different perceptions of climate change and adaptation measures. Further analysis using principal components showed that the perceptions could be grouped into: (i) drought and windy weather patterns; (ii) information and adaptation; (iii) climate change extension services; (iv) intensive cattle and sheep production and (v) temperatures.

Trend Analysis of Climate Variability over the West Bank - East London Area, South Africa (1975-2011). Journal of Geograpghy and Geology. Vol 5 (4) (2013)

Kalumba A. , Olwoch J., I. van Aardt , Botai O., Tsela P , Nsubuga F. W.  and Adeola A.

Abstract

In recent years, climate change has received considerable attention by the scientific community at different scales concerning its potential impacts on Earth system processes. This study focused at local scale by analysing trends in rainfall and temperature data for the West Bank–East London area in South Africa, spanning 36 years from 1975–2011. Sen’s and Man-Kendall non-parametric tests were performed on derived mean observed rainfall and temperature data to establish trends for monthly, seasonal, annual, and 30 year (1975–2005 and 1980–2011) climatic regimes. Results revealed that, 1977 recorded the highest annual rainfall (2272.9 mm) while the month of August received the highest total rainfall (493.8 mm) in 2002, whereas it never had rain in 1995. Seasonal and annual rainfall showed statistically no significant trend (at a = 0.10) while the magnitude of change varied between 1.87 mm (January) and -1.67 mm (September) across the study period. Rainfall decreased by 13.99 mm within the two climatic regimes. On the other hand, maximum and minimum annual mean temperature experienced an increasingly statistically significant trend (at a < 0.05) at 95% confidence level. February recorded the highest mean monthly temperature (21.8 °C) while July with the lowest (12.6 °C). Seasonal mean maximum temperature trends were statistically not significant (a = 0.10) while autumn minimum temperatures revealed a statistically significant trend (at a < 0.1). However, the period 1990-1999 predominantly experienced numerous extreme events. The seasonal trends showed substantial variability across the months and years during the study period. The significance of these findings lies in the linkage of rainfall and temperature to climate change and its potential impacts on vegetation in particular and changes in the ecology in general.

 

 

Partners