AN EVALUATION OF FARMERS` PERCEPTIONS OF AND

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International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics
ISSN 2147-8988
Vol. 1 No. 1 pp. 75-96
AN EVALUATION OF FARMERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF AND
ADAPTATION TO THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN
KENYA
Hilary K. Ndambiri
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya,
E-mail of the corresponding author: [email protected]
Cecilia N. Ritho
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Stephen G. Mbogoh
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Abstract
The study was carried out to evaluate how farmers in Kyuso District have perceived and
adapted to climate change. Data was collected from 246 farmers from six locations
sampled out through a multistage and simple random sampling procedure. The Heckman
probit model was fitted to the data to avoid sample selection bias since not every farmer
who may perceive climate change responds by adapting. The analysis revealed that 94%
of farmers in Kyuso District had a perception that climate was changing and as a result,
85% of these farmers had responded by adapting. In this regard, age of the household
head, gender, education, farm experience, household size, distance to the nearest market,
access to irrigation water, local agro-ecology, on and off farm income, access to
information on climate change through extension services, access to credit, changes in
temperature and precipitation were found to have significant influence on the probability
of farmers to perceive and/or adapt to climate change. With the level of perception to
climate change being more than that of adaptation, the study suggests that more policy
efforts should be geared towards helping farmers to adapt to climate change.
Key words: climate change, perceptions, adaptation, Heckman model, Kyuso District.
1.
Introduction
Kenya has climatic and ecological extremes with altitudes varying from sea level to
over 5000m in the highlands. The mean annual rainfall ranges from less than 250mm in
semi-arid and arid areas to more than 2000mm in high potential areas. Even though
certain areas of Kenya endure arid and semi-arid conditions (Obunde, 2007), most
cropping systems are rain-fed with irrigation activities remaining limited. Over the last
decade, Kenya has faced a number of drought and flood episodes, which have affected a
number of sectors such as agriculture, livestock production, energy, roads, tourism,
wildlife, education and health (GoK, 2007; Maitima et al., 2009).
In response, the Government of Kenya has embarked on deliberate policy efforts
aimed at adapting the nation to climate change. A key policy that has been formulated
with a bearing on climate change issues is the Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth
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An Evaluation of Farmers’ Perception….
and Employment Creation (ERS). It is a strategy that provides policy guidelines that
ensure environmental conservation and sustainable development, including fight against
desertification and flood control (GoK, 2007). Recently, a government blue print, the
Vision 2030, has also been formulated. The blue print recognizes climate change as one
of the key challenges facing sustainable development in Kenya. This policy document
has specifically provided measures to be undertaken to improve the capacity for
adaptation to global change.
In the agricultural sector, there is the Strategy for Revitalizing Agriculture (SRA)
which was formulated and launched for implementation in 2004. Unlike previous
agricultural sector policies, the SRA has sought to lay foundation for sustainable
exploitation of arid and semi arid lands through a number of climate change adaptation
strategies such as irrigation development, water harvesting, agro-forestry, development
and promotion of early maturing, drought and pest tolerant crop varieties and improved
livestock marketing in the Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALS).
While the afore mentioned efforts have constituted government-driven measures of
adaptation, farmer-driven measures of adapting to climate change especially in regard to
the arid and semi arid regions in Kenya are not very well known. This is despite the fact
that that some of these places have in the past one decade been affected by severe drought
arising from abnormal changes in temperature and precipitation (Maitima et al., 2009).
As a result, this study was carried out in order to fill this information gap with particular
reference to Kyuso District. The district is located in the ASAL areas of the country and
it was specifically chosen because it has in the past one decade witnessed recurrent
droughts and floods owing to climate change (GoK, 2007; UNDP, 2008; Maitima et al.,
2009).
As such, the remainder of the paper is organized as follows: Section two outlines
the theoretical framework. Section three presents the methodology. Section four discusses
the results and section five gives conclusions and policy recommendations.
2.
Theoretical framework
The study is grounded on the theory of induced innovation as exposited by Netra et
al (2004). The theory is used to help in examining the central role that climate has as a
motivator of the farmers to innovate and to eventually adapt to climate change in Kyuso
District. The fundamental insight of this theory is that investment in innovation is a
function of change that enters into the farm’s production function. Whereas innovations
in agriculture do not evolve with respect to climatic conditions alone, non-climatic
factors, such as economic and political environment, have significant implications for
innovation and adaptation to new agricultural practices.
Within the induced innovation theory, the study analyzed the effects of drought and
hence, the perceptions that individual farmers have about drought as a necessary trigger
for the farmers to be innovative in adapting to the negative effects of climate change. One
of the assumptions in the induced innovation theory holds that when farmers experience
some changes in the immediate environment due to climate change, they are likely to
seek new knowledge that can help them to overcome constraints arising from changing
environment. Changes in the immediate environment therefore act to ignite certain
adaptation responses, in which case farmers adjust land uses and farm management
strategies so as to offset the adverse effects of climate change.
In this study, it is argued that with non-climatic factors held constant, innovations
towards farm production in Kyuso District are made in response to variable climatic
conditions. It is thus assumed that perceptions of the variability in climate prompts the
adaptation process among the households so as to cope with the negative impacts of
76
H. K. Ndambiri, C.N. Ritho and S.G. Mbogoh
climate change in the farm. The study first hypothesized that climate change in Kyuso
District is an important limitation towards the productive capacity of farming households
and that adaptive responses would amount to innovative measures created by farmers so
as to minimize farming risks stemming from climate change.
It was also hypothesized that when pressure to grow food from climatically stressed
environment increases, the marginal cost of production goes up. Eventually, the farmer
gets to a point where adaptive responses become the only means available to enhance
farm incomes. This may entail the creation and use of knowledge that accommodates
climate change through a combination of land use and farm management practices such
as irrigation or through the adoption of area specific crop varieties and livestock.
Therefore, undertaking this study in Kyuso District would provide important insights
about the relationships between climate change, farmers’ perceptions of and adaptations
to climate change, which would safeguard the local people against adverse effects of
climate change.
3.
Overview of Literature
Adoption of agricultural technologies in agriculture is considered to be synonymous
with the adaptation strategies that farmers undertake in fight against the adverse effects of
climate change (Nhemachena and Hassan, 2007) and as a result, the adoption literature
can be applied in studies regarding climate change adaptation. Empirical literature is also
wide on farmer characteristics that affect the adoption of agricultural technologies.
For instance, studies on agricultural technology adoption by Gbetibouo (2009) and
Adesina and Forson (1995) observe that there is no consensus in the literature as to the
exact effect of age in the adoption of farming technologies because the age effect is
generally location or technology specific and hence , an empirical question. On one hand,
age may have a negative effect on the decision to adopt new farming technologies simply
because older farmers may be more risk-averse and therefore, less likely to be flexible
than younger farmers. On the other hand, age may have a positive effect on the decision
of the farmer to adopt because older farmers may have more experience in farming and
therefore, better able to assess the features of a new farming technology than the younger
farmers.
In relation to gender, Asfaw and Admassie (2004) note that households headed by
males have a higher probability of getting information about new farming technologies
and also undertake more risky ventures than female headed households. A similar
observation is made by Tenge and Hella (2004) who point out that female headed
households are less likely to adopt soil and water conservation measures since women
may have restricted access to information, land, and other resources due to traditional
social barriers. Nonetheless, Nhemachena and Hassan (2007) have contrary results to the
effect that female headed households are more likely to adopt different methods of
climate change adaptation than male headed households.
With regard to education, Norris and Batie (1987) argue that farmers with more
education are more likely to have enhanced access to technological information than
poorly educated farmers. Furthermore, Igoden et al. (1990) and Lin (1991) observe a
positive relationship between the education level of the household head and the adoption
level of improved technologies and climate change adaptation. As such, farmers with
higher levels of education are more likely to perceive climate change and adapt better.
Related studies by Maddison (2006) and Nhemachena and Hassan (2007) indicate that
farming experience, just like farmers’ education level, increases the probability of uptake
of adaptation measures to climate change.
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An Evaluation of Farmers’ Perception….
As for the household size, Croppenstedt et al. (2003) argue that larger households
have a larger pool of labor and as a result, they are more likely to adopt agricultural
technologies than smaller households. Moreover, Yirga (2007) notes that the size of the
household influences individuals’ adaptation to climate change in two perspectives. In the
first perspective, households with large families may be forced to divert part of the labor
force from farm to off-farm activities in an attempt to earn some income that can ease the
consumption pressure imposed by a large family in the face of climate change. In the
second perspective, households with a large family size are considered to have a larger
pool of cheap labor resource, which can readily be employed on the farm for crop and/or
livestock production, unlike families with smaller household size. Therefore, households
with large families are more likely to adapt to climate change than households with small
families.
Access to climate change information and other extension services by farmers is
another essential factor, which may influence the adoption of farming technologies. In
their respective studies, Maddison (2006) and Nhemachena and Hassan (2007) observed
that the awareness by farmers of climate change attributes - whether precipitation or
temperature or both, is of essence in as far as their adaptation decision-making process is
concerned. In this study, it was therefore expected farmers with access to climate change
information were more likely to observe changes in climate and were therefore more
likely to adapt than those without access to climate change information.
Income of the farmers, whether farm or nonfarm, represents the wealth of individual
households. Empirical evidence by Franzel (1999) and Knowler and Bradshaw (2007)
indicate that farmers’ income has a positive relationship with the uptake of farming
technologies since any adoption/adaptation process requires that the farmer has sufficient
financial wellbeing.
As for the role of credit in the uptake of farming technologies, Yirga (2007),
Pattanayak et al. (2003) and Caviglia-Harris (2002) observe that a positive relationship
exists between the level of adoption and the availability of credit since credit eases the
cash constraints and allows farmers to buy inputs such as fertilizer, improved crop
varieties and irrigation facilities. As well, this study also hypothesized that there would
be a positive relationship between availability of credit and adaptation to climate change.
Another factor that influences the adoption of agricultural technologies is farmers’
accessibility to the market places. A study by Maddison (2006) notes that long distances
to market centres decrease the likelihood of farm adaptation and that market places
provide important avenues for farmers to congregate and share information. In addition,
Nyangena (2007) shows that in Kenya, distance to market places has a negative and
significant effect on the adoption and use of soil and water conservation technologies.
Finally, with respect to agro-ecological zones in which households dwell or practice
their farming, Nhemachena and Hassan (2007) and Maddison (2006) agree that different
agro-ecological zones impact differently on different households such that different
households differ in the uptake of adaptation methods. The primary reason for the
differences is that environmental factors, climatic conditions, and soil composition vary
across different agro-ecologies, which may affect the way different farmers perceive
climate change and their respective decisions to adapt. It was therefore hypothesized in
the study that farmers would perceive and/or adapt to climate change depending on the
agro-ecological zones in which they dwell or carry out their farming.
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H. K. Ndambiri, C.N. Ritho and S.G. Mbogoh
4. Methodology
4.1 Study area
The study was carried out in Kyuso District, which is one of the twenty-eight
districts in the Eastern Province of Kenya, with an area of 4,814.90 Km2. It has four
administrative divisions, that is: Ngomeni, Mumoni, Tseikuru and Kyuso; 16 locations
and 53 sub-locations. It is bordered to the South by Mwingi Central District; to the West
by Mbeere District; to the North West by Tharaka District and to the East by Tana River
District. The district comprises of arid and semi-arid eco-climatic zones of Kenya with a
transitional part in between. It has an altitude that ranges between 400 and 1,747 m above
sea level. Therefore, the district’s topography covers both the eastern part of Kyuso with
lower and drier climate that is popular with livestock production and the western part of
Kyuso with higher climate that offers more rainfall and increased crop cultivation. Kyuso
is hot and dry for most part of the year with temperatures ranging from a minimum of 1422° centigrade to a maximum of 26-34° centigrade. The months of February and
September are the hottest months in the year generally with low and unreliable rainfall.
The long rains are experienced between March and May and short rains between October
and December. The short rains are considered more reliable than the long rains since it is
during the short rains that farmers get their main food production opportunity.
Kyuso district is made up of three main livelihood zones, namely: the formal
employment/casual waged labour found in Kyuso town and in other market centres; the
marginal mixed farming, which is found in Kyuso, Ngomeni and Tseikuru Divisions
located on the eastern part of Kyuso; and the mixed farming which is found in Mumoni
Division located on the western side of the district. All farmers in eastern part of Kyuso
rear livestock - cattle, sheep and goats, which they sell, depending on climatic conditions,
to buy food. The major crops grown by farmers include pigeon peas, maize, cowpeas,
green grams, sorghum, beans, millet, cassava and sweet potatoes. Although there has
been a lot of emphasis on growing hybrid maize, the uptake has been problematic since it
requires a lot of rainfall. Beekeeping is a traditional activity in this area and it is only in
the recent past that the Government of Kenya has started promoting it as an alternative
economic activity (Kyuso District Development Report, 2008).
4.2 Study population
Kyuso District Development Report (2008) estimates that the district has a
population of 138,040 persons that grows at an annual rate of 2.4%. The proportion of the
urban population is about 5% of the total population in the district with 95% of the total
population residing in the rural areas. Kyuso’s population derives its livelihood from
three main economic activities, namely: formal employment/casual waged labour,
marginal mixed farming and the mixed farming. Consequently, the study population was
primarily drawn from households deriving their livelihood from two economic activities,
that is: the marginal mixed farming and the mixed farming activities whose people reside
in the rural areas.
4.3 Sampling procedure
The study employed the multiple-stage and simple random sampling procedure to
select a sample of 246 respondents from the district. All the four administrative divisions
in the district, that is: Tseikuru, Kyuso, Mumoni and Ngomeni, were initially classified
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An Evaluation of Farmers’ Perception….
into two: those from the marginal mixed farming economic zone (eastern side) and those
from the mixed farming economic zone (western side). Subsequently, the simple random
sampling process was employed in order to select two divisions - one from the marginal
mixed farming zone and the other from the mixed farming zone. In this case, Kyuso and
Mumoni divisions were selected. In the second stage, six locations - three from each of
the two economic zones - were thereafter selected in a random manner for the interviews.
These locations were: Mutanda, Katse and Kakuyu from the mixed economic zone; and
Kamuwongo, Kyuso and Kamangao from the marginal mixed economic zone. As a
result, 41 households from each of the six locations were randomly selected for the
interview process. The study adopted these sampling techniques because they ensure a
high degree of sample representativeness by providing respondents with equal chances of
being chosen as part of the study sample.
4.4 The Analytical Framework: The Heckman’s two-step procedure
In studies where the decision to adopt a new technology involves a process
requiring more than one step, models with two-step regressions are employed to correct
for the selection bias generated during the decision making processes. For instance, Stan
and William (2003) employ the Heckman’s two - step procedure to analyze the factors
affecting the awareness and adoption of new agricultural technologies in the United
States of America. In their study, the first stage is the analysis of factors affecting the
awareness of new agricultural technologies and the second stage is the adoption of the
new agricultural technologies.
Similarly, Yirga (2007) and Kaliba et al. (2000) employ the Heckman’s selection
model to analyze the two-step processes of agricultural technology adoption and the
intensity of agricultural input use in Ethiopia. The same methodology is employed by
Maddison (2006) to analyze farmers’ adaptation to climate change in Southern Africa. He
argues that the adaptation to climate change is a two-step process which involves
perceiving that climate is changing in the first step and then responding to changes
through adaptation in the second step.
In Ethiopia, Deressa et al. (2008) used the Heckman’s two-step procedure to
analyze farmers’ perceptions of climate change in the first step and then farmers’
adaptations to climate change in the second step. And more recently, Gbetibouo (2009)
also used the Heckman model to analyze farmers' perceptions and adaptations to climate
change and variability in the Limpopo basin, South Africa. In the first stage, farmers’
perceptions were analyzed followed by farmers’ adaptations in the second stage.
Following Maddison (2006), the current study employed the Heckman’s two-step
procedure to analyze the perceptions of and adaptation to climate change by farmers in
Kyuso District, Kenya. The Heckman’s model has two equations of interest that are
modeled, namely: the selection (participation) equation, and the response (outcome)
equation. In this study, the selection equation was used to model the perceptions that
farmers have towards climate change while the response equation was used to model the
adaptations that farmers have undertaken in response to the effects of climate change.
Maddison (2006), Deressa et al. (2008) and Gbetibouo (2009) have specified the
Heckman’s sample selectivity model based on two latent variables as follows:
1)
(2)
80
H. K. Ndambiri, C.N. Ritho and S.G. Mbogoh
where x is a k-vector of regressors; z is an m-vector of regressors, possibly including 1's
for the intercepts; and the error terms
and
are jointly normally distributed,
independently of X and Z, with zero expectations. and are the regressands denoting
adaptation to and perceptions of the farmers to climate change. Although the study would
primarily be interested in the first model, the latent variable
is only observed if > 0.
Thus, the actual dependent variable is:
(3)
Here,
is taken as a latent variable, which is not observable, but only its sign. A
conclusion is made that
> 0 if y is observable and that
if y is unobservable. As
a result, and without any loss of generality,
can be normalized so that it has a variance
that is equal to 1. Suppose the self selection problem is disregarded and y regressed on x
based on the observed y values, then the resulting ordinary least squares (OLS) estimator
of β would be biased, since:
(4)
where F is the cumulative distribution function of the standard normal distribution, f is
the corresponding density, s2 is the variance of , and r is the correlation between
and
. Thus:
(5)
The last term gives rise to self selection bias when r is nonzero. In order to avoid the self
selection bias and to obtain estimators that are asymptotically efficient, the maximum
likelihood procedure was used to estimate the model parameters. STATA software v11.0
was used in this analysis.
4.5 Empirical models for the study
Heckman’s probit selection model and the Heckman’s probit outcome model were
the two models estimated in the study. In the Heckman’s selection model, the regressand
was a binary variable concerned with whether or not a farmer perceived climate change.
It was regressed on a set of explanatory variables, namely: age of the farmer, gender,
education, farming experience, farm income, off-farm income, access to extension
services, access to climate information, household size, local agro-ecology, distance to
input/output market, perceived fertility of the soil, access to credit and access to water for
irrigation. The algebraic representation of the Heckman’s probit selection model was
gives as:
(6)
where:
i
= the perception by the ith farmer that climate is changing.
= the vector of explanatory variables of probability of perceiving climate
change by the ith farmer.
= the vector of the parameter estimates of the regressors hypothesized to
influence the probability of farmer is perception about climate change.
81
An Evaluation of Farmers’ Perception….
Consequently, the linear specification of the Heckman’s probit selection model was given
as:
In the Heckman’s probit outcome model, the regress and was also a binary variable whether a farmer has adapted to climate change or not. It was also regressed on a set of
relevant explanatory variables, namely: age of the farmer, gender, education, farming
experience, farm income, off-farm income, access to extension services, access to climate
information, household size, local agro-ecology, distance to input/output market, access
to credit, precipitation and temperature. The algebraic specification of the Heckman’s
probit outcome model was given as:
(7)
where:
i
= the adaptation by the ith farmer to climate change.
= the vector of explanatory variables of probability of adapting to climate
change by the ith farmer.
= the vector of the parameter estimates of explanatory variables
hypothesized to influence the probability of farmer i s adaptation to
climate change.
Thus, the linear specification of the Heckman’s outcome model was given as:
5. Empirical Results and Discussion
5.1.1 Descriptive Analysis: Farmers’ perceptions of climate change
In order to understand farmers’ perception towards climate change in Kyuso
District, farmers were asked to indicate what they had noted regarding long term changes
in temperature and precipitation. They were asked to specify whether or not they had
noted: (i) changes in climate (ii) increases in temperature (iii) decreases in temperature
(iv) extended periods of temperature (v) no change in temperature levels (vi) increases in
precipitation (vii) decreases in precipitation (viii) changes in the timing of rains (ix)
increases in the frequency of droughts and (x) no change in precipitation patterns. The
results of this analysis are presented below and furthermore in Table 2.
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H. K. Ndambiri, C.N. Ritho and S.G. Mbogoh
Table 1. Variables hypothesized to affect perception and adaptation decisions by
farmers with regard to climate change
Variables and variable
Mean
Std.
Min
Max
Expected
Measurement
Dev.
sign
Age of the head of the farm
45.29
11.13
25
75
±
household in years.
Gender of the head of the
0.74
0.44
0
1
±
farm household - dummy
(1=male; 0=otherwise).
Education attained by the
9.88
4.20
0
15
+
head of the household in
years.
Farming experience of the
20.48
8.86
7
50
+
household head in years.
Household size - number of
5.76
2.12
2
13
±
family members of a
household.
Access to water for irrigation
0.30
0.46
0
1
+
- dummy (1=access;
0=otherwise).
Market distance in
2.42
1.54
1
7
+
kilometers.
Local agro-ecology 0.39
0.49
0
1
+
highland or lowland - dummy
(1=highland; 0=otherwise).
Farm income of the
2.61
1.38
1
6
+
household in Kenya shillings.
Perceived fertility of the soil
0.10
0.30
0
1
+
by household head in dummy
(1=fertile; 0=otherwise).
Access to climate information
0.68
0.47
0
1
+
- dummy (1=access;
0=otherwise).
Access to extension services 0.13
0.34
0
1
+
dummy (1=access;
0=otherwise).
Access to credit - dummy
0.25
0.44
0
1
+
(1=access; 0=otherwise).
Off-farm income in Kenya
0.67
0.47
0
1
±
shillings.
Temperature – whether
0.57
0.50
0
1
+
farmers perceives affected by
changes in annual average
temperature - dummy
(1=affected; 0=otherwise).
Precipitation – whether
0.39
0.49
0
1
_
farmers perceives affected by
changes in annual average
precipitation - dummy
(1=affected; 0=otherwise).
83
An Evaluation of Farmers’ Perception….
Overall, the established that 94% of the farmers in the district had noted changes in
climate while 6% had not. While 43% of the respondents noted an increase in the levels
of temperature, about 70% observed a decrease in precipitation. Nobody is reported to
have either perceived a decrease in temperature or an increase in precipitation.
Considering patterns of precipitation, 61% of the respondents pointed out that they had
observed changes in the timing of rains while 70% noted that the frequency of droughts
had increased overtime. This implies that majority of farmers in the district are well
aware of climate change.
A cross tabulation between the age of the household head and the farmers’
perceptions of climate change elucidated that majority of farmers who perceived changes
in climate were in the age group between 31 and 60 years (80%), compared to farmers
below the age of 30 years (6%) or above the age of 60 years (8%). While 36% of farmers
in the age group 31-60 years observed an increase in the levels of temperature, only 3%
and 4% of farmers in the age group below 30 years and above 60 years, respectively,
noted increases in temperature. In contrast, no one from the three age groups indicated to
have either observed a decrease in temperature or an increase in precipitation. Regarding
patterns of precipitation, 51% of farmers in the age group 31-60 years agreed that they
had observed changes in the timing of rains, compared to 4% and 6% of the farmers in
the age groups below 30 years and above 60 years, respectively.
The study further established that most farmers who perceived climate change had
attained post primary (61%) education compared to 33% who had up to primary
education. While 34% of farmers with post primary education noted increases in
temperature, only 9% of farmers with up to primary education noted that there was an
increase in the levels of temperature. Regarding perceptions about extended periods of
temperature, 47% of farmers with post primary education indicated to have observed long
periods of temperature compared to only 8% of farmers with up to primary education.
With regard to the farming experience, the study found out that the majority (83%)
of farmers who perceived that climate was changing had high farming experience (above
10 years) compared to 11% who had low farming experience (1-10 years). As 51% of the
farmers with high farming experience observed that there was considerable change in the
levels of temperature, only 6% of farmers with low farming experience indicated to have
noticed change in temperature levels. Concerning the frequency of droughts, majority
(62%) of farmers with high farming experience indicated to have observed an increased
number of droughts in the last decade compared to their counterparts (8%) with low
farming experience.
On the relationship between farmers’ perception to climate change and the distance
to the nearest input and output market, the study established that majority (77%) of
farmers who lived close (1-15 Kms) to the nearest input/output market perceived that
climate was change, compared to those farmers (17%) who resided in places longer than
15Kms to the nearest market. Regarding precipitation patterns, about 54% of farmers
residing between 1-15Kms to the nearest market noted that the timing of rains had
changed while another 62% observed that the number of recurring droughts had
increased. In contrast, only 7% and 8% of farmers residing longer than 15 Kms distance
to the nearest input/output market had noted changes in the timing of rains and increased
frequency in the occurrence of droughts, respectively.
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H. K. Ndambiri, C.N. Ritho and S.G. Mbogoh
Table 2: Farmers’ Perception to Changes in Temperature and Precipitation by age, education, farming experience and distance to the
nearest input-output market (as a % of respondents)
Farmers’ perceptions by age (as a % of
respondents)
Farmers’
perceptions
Changes in
climate
Increases in
temperature
Decreases in
temperature
Extended
periods of
temperature
Change in
temperature
levels
Increases in
precipitation
Decreases in
precipitation
Changes in the
timing of rains
Increases in the
frequency of
droughts
Change in
precipitation
patterns
N = 246
% of
respondent
0-30
years
31-60
years
60+
years
94
6
80
43
3
0
Farmers’ perceptions by
education (as a % of
respondents)
Farmers’ perceptions by
farming experience (as a % of
respondents)
Farmers’ perceptions by
distance to the input/output
market (as a % of
respondents)
Distance to
Distance to
the nearest
the nearest
market
(1
market (15+
- 15Kms)
Kms)
77
17
Post
standard
education
(9+ years)
61
Low farming
experience
(1 -10 years)
High farming
experience
(10+years)
8
Upto
Standard
education
(1 - 8 years)
33
11
83
36
4
9
34
6
37
39
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
55
4
45
6
8
47
3
52
48
7
57
5
47
5
13
44
6
51
51
6
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
70
4
59
7
16
54
8
62
58
12
61
4
51
5
13
48
11
50
54
7
70
5
59
6
16
54
8
62
62
8
39
3
32
4
14
25
4
35
29
10
85
An Evaluation of Farmers’ Perception….
5.1. 2 Descriptive Analysis: Farmers’ adaptation to climate change
In order to establish whether or not farming households in Kyuso District had
adapted to their own perceptions about climate change, farmers were asked to indicate the
adaptation strategies they had adopted in their farms in order to cope with the adverse
effects of changes in temperature and precipitation. Farmers were asked to indicate
whether or not they had adapted using any of the following methods: (i) growing
different varieties (ii) growing different crops (iii) use of different planting dates (iv)
practicing crop diversification (v) migration to a different site (vi) lessening the length of
growing season (vii) switching from crops to livestock farming (viii) changing land area
under cultivation (ix) adjusting the number and livestock management strategies (x)
switching from livestock to crops farming (xi) switching from farming to non-farming
activities (xii) use of prayers (xiii) increased use of irrigation (xiv) increased use of
fertilizers and pesticides (xv) increased use water conservation technologies (xvi)
enhanced use of shading/sheltering/tree planting (xvii) practicing soil conservation,
mulching and use of manure and (xviii) switching from non-farming to farming activities.
Table 3 and 4 give further results of this analysis.
It was revealed in the study that 85% of farmers in the district had actually adapted
to climate change compared to 15% who chose not to adapt. Several adaptation strategies
were undertaken by farmers, with the most popular methods being growing different
crops and changing land area put under cultivation, with each comprising 64% of the
respondents. The least popular adaptation methods employed by farmers were switching
from non-farming to farming activities (9%) and the increased use of irrigation farming
(8%).
In addition, analysis of the farmers’ characteristics in the study revealed that most
(71%) farmers who adapted to changes in climate were in the age group between 31 and
60 years. Only a handful, 6% and 8%, were in the age group below 30 years and above
60 years, respectively. Moreover, most farmers in the age group between 31 and 60 years
adapted to changes in temperature and precipitation using various methods. The most
popular adaptation methods were growing different crops (54%) and changing land area
under cultivation (54%). The least popular adaptation strategies were switching from
non-farming to farming (6%) and the increased use of irrigation farming (5%).
As for the education level, the study established that majority (63%) of the farmers
who adapted in various ways to changes in temperature and precipitation had reached
post primary education when compared to those who had up to primary level education
(22%). The most common adaptation strategies among farmers having post primary
education, besides growing different crops (50%) and changing land area under
cultivation (50%), were diversifying crops under cultivation (43%) and migrating to a
different site (44%). The least common methods of adaptation, other than switching from
non-farming to farming (7%) and the increased use of irrigation (6%), was switching
from livestock to crop farming (8%).
In relation to farming experience, the study found out that majority (74%) of the
farmers who adapted to climate change had farming experience of more than 10 years in
comparison to 11% of the farmers who had low experience of about 10 years and below.
Among the common adaptation strategies for farmers with more farming experience
included: growing different crops (56%), changing land area under cultivation (56%),
diversifying crops under cultivation (49%), growing different crop varieties (46%),
lessening length of growing season (46%) and the increased use of shading, sheltering or
tree planting (45%). However, the increased use of fertilizers and pesticides (20%),
86
H. K. Ndambiri, C.N. Ritho and S.G. Mbogoh
Table 3: Farmers’ Adaptation to Changes in Temperature and Precipitation by age and education (as a % of respondents)
Farmers’ perceptions by age (as a % of respondents)
Farmers’ Adaptation Methods
Adapted to climate change.
Planting different crops.
Planting different varieties.
Crop diversification.
Different planting dates.
Shortening length of growing season.
Migrating to a different site.
Changing land under cultivation.
Switching from crops to livestock.
Switching from livestock to crops.
Adjusting number and management of livestock.
Switching from farming to non-farming.
Switching from non-farming to farming.
Increased use of irrigation.
Increased use of fertilizers and pesticides.
Increasing water conservation practices.
Soil conservation, mulching and use of manure.
Increasing shading/ sheltering/tree planting.
Use of prayers.
N = 246
Source: Field data, 2010
% of
respondent
0-30 years
31-60 years
60+ years
85
64
51
55
49
51
54
64
48
12
49
44
9
8
22
46
34
50
52
6
4
3
5
4
3
5
5
4
1
2
1
1
1
2
4
2
4
3
71
54
41
45
40
43
44
54
40
10
40
38
6
5
19
38
29
41
42
8
6
7
5
5
6
5
5
4
1
7
5
2
2
1
4
3
5
7
Farmers’ perceptions by education (as a
% of respondents)
Up to Primary
Post Primary
education
education
(1 - 8 years)
(9+yrs)
22
63
14
50
12
39
12
43
10
39
11
40
10
44
14
50
10
38
4
8
10
39
8
36
2
7
2
6
5
17
8
38
6
28
10
40
17
35
87
An Evaluation of Farmers’ Perception….
Table 4: Farmers’ Adaptation to Changes in Temperature and Precipitation by farming experience and distance to the nearest input
output market (as a % of respondents)
Farmers’ perceptions by farming
Farmers’ perceptions by distance to the
experience (as a % of respondents).
input/output market (as a % of
respondents).
Low farming
High farming
Distance to the
Distance to the
experience
experience
nearest market
nearest market
Farmers’ Adaptation Methods
(1 -10 years).
(10+years).
(1 - 15Kms).
(15+ Kms).
Adapted to climate change.
11
74
76
9
Planting different crops.
8
56
61
3
Planting different varieties.
5
46
49
2
Crop diversification.
6
49
52
3
Different planting dates.
6
43
47
2
Shortening length of growing season.
6
46
48
3
Migrating to a different site.
8
46
52
2
Changing land under cultivation.
8
56
61
3
Switching from crops to livestock.
6
42
45
3
Switching from livestock to crops.
2
10
8
4
Adjusting number and management of livestock.
5
44
46
3
Switching from farming to non-farming.
4
40
42
2
Switching from non-farming to farming.
1
8
9
0
Increased use of irrigation.
0
8
8
0
Increased use of fertilizers and pesticides.
2
20
21
1
Increasing water conservation practices.
5
41
44
2
Soil conservation, mulching and use of manure.
3
31
32
2
Increasing shading/ sheltering/tree planting.
5
45
47
3
Use of prayers.
5
47
44
8
N = 246
Source: Field data, 2010
88
H. K. Ndambiri, C.N. Ritho and S.G. Mbogoh
switching from non-farming to farming (8%) and increased use of irrigation (8%) were
some of the adaptation methods that were least employed by the highly experienced
farmers.
With regard to distance that a farmer resides from the nearest market centre, the
study established that most (76%) farmers who undertook adaptation lived closer (115Kms) to a market centre. Only a few farmers (9%) living further away from a market
centre (beyond 15Km range) had adapted to climate change. Growing different crops
(61%), changing land area under cultivation (61%), migration to a different site (52%),
crop diversification (52%), growing different crop varieties (49%) and lessening the
length of growing season (48%) were the main adaptation methods adopted by farmers
residing closer (1-15Km) to a market centre. On the other hand, shifting from livestock to
crop farming (8%), shifting from non-farming to farming (9%) and the increased use of
irrigation (8%) constituted the least common adaptation strategies employed by the
farmers in the district.
5.2 Econometric Analysis
5.2.1 Econometric estimation of model parameters
The study employed the Heckman’s probit model to estimate the parameters of the
study in order to avoid sample selection bias. To start with, the model was tested for its
appropriateness in the study by comparing the dependence of the error terms in the
outcome and selection equations. The results showed evidence of a sample selection
problem since rho was significantly different from zero (Wald test for independent
equations = 23.46, with P = 0.0000). It was therefore justified to use the Heckman probit
model. Besides, the likelihood function of the Heckman probit model was also found to
be significant (Wald for zero slopes = 2180.17, with P = 0.0000) meaning that the model
had a strong explanatory power. Table 5 presents results from the ML estimation together
with the marginal effects, which is the expected change in the probability of perceiving
and/or adapting to climate change given a unit change in an independent variable from
the mean value, ceteris paribus. Only results that were statistically significant at the 10
percent level or greater are reported.
5.2.2 Results of the Heckman probit model
As in the selection equation where the regressand was binary, representing whether
or not a farmer perceived climate change, the regressand in the outcome equation was
also binary indicative of whether or not a farmer reacted to the perceived changes through
adaptation. These dependent variables were regressed on a set of explanatory variables as
discussed in the previous section.
The results from the selection model indicated that age of the household head,
gender, education, farming experience, household size, access to irrigation water,
distance to the nearest market, local agro-ecology, access to information on climate
change, access to extension services and off farm income influenced the possibility of a
farmer to perceive climate change. As for the outcome model, the results showed that age
of the household head, education, farming experience, household size, distance to the
nearest market, local agro-ecology, farm income, access to information on climate
change, access to credit and changes in temperature and precipitation influenced the
possibility of a farmer to adapt to climate change.
89
An Evaluation of Farmers’ Perception….
Table 5: Results of the Heckman’s Probit Model of Farmers’ Perception of and Adaptation to climate change in Kyuso District
Perception model
Adaptation model
Explanatory variables
Regression model
Coefficient
p-value
0.099***
0.000
0.939***
0.000
0.125***
0.000
0.123***
0.000
-0.124**
0.048
1.190***
0.000
0.011
0.891
1.445***
0.001
-0.554
0.103
0.467
0.430
0.404**
0.028
-1.750***
0.001
-1.510***
0.000
-0.266
0.333
Marginal effects
Coefficient
p-value
0.0041***
0.009
0.0262**
0.035
0.0146**
0.046
0.019***
0.001
-0.0460**
0.027
-0.0531**
0.016
-0.0051***
0.002
0.0270**
0.048
-0.0772
0.684
0.0570
0.653
0.0212*
0.071
0.0577**
0.024
-0.0213
0.212
-0.0326***
0.001
Regression model
Coefficient
p-value
0.014***
0.010
0.007**
0.033
0.047***
0.001
0.013**
0.043
-0.031*
0.083
Age
Gender
Education
Farm experience
Household size
Irrigation water
Distance to market
0.003**
0.020
Local agro-ecology
0.050**
0.041
Farm income
0.073
0.207
Fertility of the soil
Climate information
0.079*
0.070
Extension services
-0.005
0.935
Access to credit
-0.155***
0.007
Off farm income
0.015
0.733
Change in temperature
0.057**
0.033
Change in precipitation
-0.025**
0.015
Diagnostics
Wald test for zero slopes
2180.17, p > Chi2(15) = 0.0000
Wald test for independent equations
23.46, p > Chi2(1) = 0.0000
Total observations
246
Censored
14
Uncensored
232
Note: *** significant at 1% level; ** significant at 5% level; * significant at 10% level.
90
Marginal effects
Coefficient p-value
0.0030**
0.022
-0.0028*
0.068
0.0103***
0.003
0.0040**
0.039
-0.0012*
0.086
-0.0014***
0.0028***
0.0097***
0.003
0.012
0.000
0.0057**
0.0014
-0.0085**
0.0010
0.0140**
-0.0148***
0.042
0.493
0.038
0.194
0.023
0.001
H. K. Ndambiri, C. N. Ritho and S. G. Mbogoh
In relation to the age of the household head, the results came out as expected i.e. the
age of the household head would be positively and significantly related to farmers’
perception and adaptation to climate change. The study found out that the probability of
perceiving climate change was higher for older farmers than it is for younger farmers (
= 0.0041, p<0.01). The probability to adapt was also found to be higher for the older
farmers compared to the younger farmers ( = 0.0030, p<0.05). Adesina and Forson
(1995) and Gbetibouo (2009) attest to these findings when, in their respective studies,
they observed a positive relationship between age of the household head and the adoption
of improved agricultural technologies. They have noted that older farmers have more
experience in farming and are better able to assess the attributes of modern technology
than younger farmers. Hence, older farmers have a higher probability of perceiving and
adapting to climate change.
As for the gender of the household head, the study established that the probability of
a male headed household to perceive climate change was higher than that of a female
headed household ( = 0.0262, p<0.05). This finding is similar to that by Asfaw and
Admassie (2004) and Tenge and Hella (2004) who noted that male headed households
were more likely to perceive changes in the surrounding than female headed households.
The possible reason is that male headed households have a higher probability of
acquiring information than female headed households. However, as for the adaptation,
the study found out that the probability to adapt of the male headed households was lower
than that of the female headed households ( = -0.0028 p<0.1). A similar finding is
found in Nhemachena and Hassan (2007) who assert that a lot of farming activities in the
rural areas are carried out by women as men are in most cases based in the urban areas.
Given that women do much of the farm work, they are therefore more likely to adapt to
climate change than males on the basis of the available information on climate and
markets conditions and food needs of the households.
In relation to the education level of the farmers, the study established that the
probability of more educated farmers to perceive climate change was higher than that of
less educated farmers ( = 0.0146, p<0.05). More educated farmers were also more
likely to adapt to climate change than farmers with not as much education by points ( =
0.0103, p<0.01). This is because higher education was likely to expose farmers to more
information on climate change. These findings agree with the findings by Norris and
Batie (1987) and Igoden et al (1990) who have noted that higher levels of education is
likely to enhance information access to the farmer for improved technology up take and
higher farm productivity. They have also observed that education is likely to enhance the
farmers’ ability to receive, decipher and comprehend information relevant to making
innovative decisions in their farms.
As for the farming experience, the study established that the more experienced
farmers were, the more likely they were to perceive climate change than farmers with low
farming experience ( = 0.0190, p<0.01). In addition, more experienced farmers were
also more likely to adapt to climate change than the low experienced farmers ( = 0.004,
p<0.05). These findings are similar to those unveiled by Nhemachena and Hassan (2007)
that farming experience enhances the probability of uptake of adaptations as experienced
farmers have better knowledge and information on changes in climatic conditions, crop
and livestock management practices. Since the experienced farmers have high skills in
farming techniques and management, they may be able to spread risk when faced with
climate variability across crop, livestock and off farm activities than less experienced
farmers.
With regard to household size, the study revealed that larger households had less
chances of perceiving climate change than smaller households points ( = -0.0460,
91
An Evaluation of Farmers’ Perception….
p<0.05). It was also discovered that larger households were less likely to adapt to climate
change than the smaller households ( = -0.0012, p<0.1). As Teklewold et al. (2006)
and Tizale (2007) note, household size is a proxy to labor availability. Therefore, larger
households are likely to have a lower probability to adopt new agricultural practices since
households with many family members are likely to divert labor force to off-farm
activities in an attempt to earn more income to ease the consumption pressure imposed by
a large family size.
The study established an inverse relationship between farmers’ perception to
climate change and their access to irrigation water. It was found out that farmers with
access to irrigation water were less likely to perceive climate change than farmers
without access to irrigation water ( = -0.0531, p<0.05). This is because the warming
factor and the lack of irrigation water enhances the vulnerability of farmers to risks
associated with climate change and hence their probability to perceive that climatic
conditions are changing. With climate change, droughts in Kyuso district have become
more frequent than before (Maitima et al., 2009). This has made farm lands drier and thus
creating a greater need for irrigation water so as to change the current farming systems to
those that are better adapted to changes in temperature and precipitation.
With regard to the distance to the nearest input/output market, the study results
indicate that farmers residing further away from the nearest input/output market were less
likely to perceive that climate was changing than farmers residing closer to the market (
= -0.0051, p<0.01). In addition, farmers residing longer distances to the nearest market
were less likely to adapt than farmers residing shorter distances to the nearest market (
= -0.0014, p<0.01). These results are in line with an observation made by Madison
(2006) that long distances to markets decrease the probability of farm adaptation in
Africa and that markets provide an important platform for farmers to gather and share
information. Even Nyangena (2007) made a similar observation that in Kenya, long
distances to the markets negatively and significantly influence the adoption of
agricultural technologies of soil and water conservation.
Also established by the study was a positive relationship between local agroecological conditions and farmers’ perception of and adaptation to climate change. It was
revealed that farmers living in lower agro-ecological zones were more likely to perceive
changes in climate than farmers living higher agro-ecological zones ( = 0.0270,
p<0.05). Farmers in lower agro-ecological zones were also more likely to adapt to
climate change than their counterparts in higher agro-ecological zones ( = 0.0028,
p<0.01). Maddison (2006) and Nhemachena and Hassan (2007) made the same
observation that local agro-ecological conditions had a higher likelihood of influencing a
farmer to perceive climate change and hence his decision to adapt or not. However, the
researchers noted that farmers’ decision to adapt or not could vary across different agroecologies as each agro-ecology has its own set of conditions.
As to the farm income, the study produced mixed results. The study had
hypothesized a positive relationship between farm income and the likelihood of farmers
to perceive and adapt to climate change. However, the study results showed a negative
though not significant relationship between farm incomes and the probability of farmers
to perceive climate change, on one hand, and a positive relationship between farm
income and farmers’ adaptation, on the other. On the latter relationship, the study found
out that farmers with high farm incomes were more likely to adapt climate change
compared to farmers with lower farm incomes ( = 0.0097, p<0.01). This observation is
similar to that by Franzel (1999) and Knowler and Bradshaw (2007) who noted that
farmers’ incomes (whether farm or off-farm income) have a positive relationship with the
adoption of agricultural technologies since it requires sufficient financial wellbeing to be
92
H. K. Ndambiri, C. N. Ritho and S. G. Mbogoh
undertaken. Nonetheless, off-farm income generating activities may sometimes present a
constraint to adoption of agricultural technology because they compete with on-farm
activities, thus hindering on-farm adaptation by farmers.
In addition, the study revealed that the accessibility of climate change information
by farmers’ through farm extension services had higher chances of influencing farmers to
perceive and adapt to changes in climate. Farmers with access to information were more
likely to perceive climate change than farmers without access to information ( =
0.0212, p<0.1). The same famers were also more likely to adapt to climate change
compared to their counterparts without access to climate change information ( =
0.0057, p<0.05). A number of studies agree with these results such as those by Adesina
and Forson (1995), Gbetibouo (2009), Maddison (2006) and Nhemachena and Hassan
(2007) who have separately noted that farmers’ access to information on climate change
is likely to enhance their probability to perceive climate change, and hence adopt of new
technologies and take-up adaptation techniques.
Though access to credit is associated with a positive effect on adaptation behavior
(Caviglia-Harris 2002; Gbetibouo, 2009), access to credit in this study was found to be
inversely related to farmers’ adaptation to changes in climate such that farmers with
access to credit were less likely to adapt to climate change compared to farmers without
access to credit ( = -0.0085, p<0.05). The possible reason for this is that the adoption of
an agricultural technology may demand the use of owned or borrowed funds. Since such
an investment in technology adoption may be hampered by lack of borrowing capacity
(El Osta and Morehart, 1999), this may negatively end up affecting any adaptation efforts
of the farmers.
As expected, the study revealed a positive relationship between change in
temperature and the adaptation by famers. It was found out that farmers who perceive a
rise in temperature were more likely to adapt compared to those who have not perceived
a rise in temperature ( = 0.0140, p<0.05). This is probably because a rise in
temperature in a district that is already arid and semi-arid was more likely to hamper farm
production and therefore more likely to promote the need for the farmers to adapt to
climate change. Gbetibouo (2009) made the same observation in her study of farmers in
Southern Africa.
As for the precipitation, the results also came out as expected. The study found a
negative relationship between change in precipitation and farmers’ adaptation. That is,
farmers who noted a rise in precipitation were less likely to adapt compared to those
farmers who noted a decline in precipitation ( = -0.0148, p<0.01). The possible reason
for this negative relationship is that farming in Kyuso District is already water scarce and
therefore, increased precipitation in such a water scarce area was unlikely to constrain
farm production and therefore unlikely to promote the need to adapt to the changing
climate. Gbetibouo (2009) also agrees with these results from her study conducted among
smallholder farmers in Southern Africa.
6. Conclusions and Recommendations
The study set out to evaluate farmers’ perceptions of and adaptation to climate
change in Kenya with special reference to Kyuso District. It was found out that majority
of the farmers were well aware that climate was changing and it was the cause of the
recurrent droughts that were ravaging the district. Majority of the farmers noted that there
was an increase in temperature, extended periods of temperature, a decrease in
precipitation, changes in the timing of rains and an increase in the frequency of droughts.
93
An Evaluation of Farmers’ Perception….
As such, most farmers had undertaken necessary adaptation measures to counter the
adverse effects of climate change.
The most common adaptation strategies among farming households who perceived
increases in temperature were: crop diversification, planting different crops, varying land
area under cultivation, and migration to a different site. Adaptation methods used by
those who perceived extended periods of temperature were: planting different crops, crop
diversification, increasing water conservation practices, adjusting the number and
management of livestock and changing the size of land under cultivation. On the other
hand, adaptation measures least employed by farmers who perceived changes in
temperature included: switching from livestock to crops, switching from non-farming to
farming and increased use of irrigation technology.
With regard to precipitation, most farmers who observed an increase in the
frequency of droughts and a decrease in precipitation migrated to new sites and also
adjusted the number of livestock and livestock management practices. As for the farmers
who noted a change in the timing of rains, a majority opted to migrate to a different site
while a few others decided to adjust the number of livestock and livestock management
practices. The least popular adaptation methods among all farmers who either noted a
decrease in precipitation or a change in timing of rains were switching from non-farming
to farming and the use of irrigation technology due to scarcity of irrigation water.
The results from the study also show that the age of the household head, gender,
education, farming experience, household size, access to irrigation water, distance to the
nearest market, local agro-ecology, access to information on climate change, access to
extension services and off farm income were crucial factors in influencing the likelihood
of farmers to perceive climate change. Similarly, factors such as the age of the household
head, education, farming experience, household size, distance to the nearest market, local
agro-ecology, farm income, access to information on climate change, access to credit and
changes in temperature and precipitation were also found to determine farmers’
adaptation to climate change in the district. Any policy aimed at enhancing the adaptive
capacity of the farmers in the study area should thus consider making use the factors
mentioned afore.
It was also discovered in the study that farming in the district is mostly carried out
by women as men are based in towns carrying out off farm activities. This has important
policy implication in that women would therefore need to be empowered through women
groups and associations since this can have significant positive impacts for increasing the
uptake of adaptation measures by the farmers. The policy framework can also consider
promoting women in terms of access to education, assets, and other critical services such
as credit, farming technology and inputs supply.
Acknowledgements
The authors are grateful to the farmers who participated in the survey. This study was
funded by the Collaborative MSc in Agricultural and Applied Economics Programme
(CMMAE) through the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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