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PROJECT TOPIC AND MATERIAL ON DETERMINANTS OF SMALLHOLDER FARMERS’ DECISION TO ADOPT ADAPTATION OPTIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND VARIABILITY IN THE MUGER SUB BASIN OF THE UPPER BLUE NILE BASIN OF ETHIOPIA
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- Name: Determinants Of Smallholder Farmers’ Decision To Adopt Adaptation Options To Climate Change And Variability In The Muger Sub Basin Of The Upper Blue Nile Basin Of Ethiopia
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Climate change is expected to have significant adverse effects on agricultural production in Africa, in particular, due to the continent’s dependence on rain-fed agriculture [1,2,3,4]. Empirical studies show that climate change and variability already place a heavy burden on smallholder farmers, and their livelihoods will be further threatened by ongoing climate change [5,6,7].
Like most African countries, Ethiopia is frequently identified as a country that is highly vulnerable to climate variability and change [8,9,10]. The agriculture sector has been playing a very significant role in providing food, employment, and income to the majority of people in Ethiopia. It accounts for about 42.9% of gross domestic product (GDP), 80% of employment, and 88% of export earnings . However, climate change remains the major challenge to the development of agriculture and food security . Despite its high contribution to the overall economy, the sector is inherently sensitive to climate climate-related disasters like drought and flood and is among the most vulnerable sectors to the risks and impacts of global climate change . Studies indicate that Ethiopian agriculture is characterized by a low use of external inputs and it is highly vulnerable to climate variability and change [10, 14,15,16,17]. The impact on agriculture is manifested by increasing incidence of floods, droughts, and unpredictable rainfall [18, 19] and has resulted in food shortage and famine in the past [20,21,22,23], and they continue to pose a serious threat to Ethiopia’s development .
Because of the huge contribution of agriculture to Ethiopian’s economy and its high susceptibility to climate change and climate-related extreme events–droughts and floods, it is important to study adaptation strategies to overcome the anticipated adverse impacts. It has been recognized that adaptation to climate change and variability is one of the policy agenda widely supported to help smallholder farmers to limit the negative effects of climate change in this sector [24,25,26]. It has been noted that the existing support system determines differences in adaptation options to climate hazards among households to households and region to region. There is considerable evidence that climate change holds back the progress of Ethiopian agriculture [27,28,29]. However, results from these studies were inclusively focused on the impact of climate change on agricultural production and productivity and suggested adaptation strategies, but failed to address the driving forces that determine household’s choices of adaptation options. This presents an important limitation since farmers’ responses to climate change or their choice of adaptation strategies have been dictated by a host of environmental and socioeconomic factors.
Furthermore, studies have been undertaken to analyze the impact of climate change and factors affecting the choice of adaptation methods in mono-crop and mixed crop production system in Africa at the regional level [25, 30, 31]. The aggregate nature of these studies, however, makes it very difficult to provide insights in identifying country-specific impacts and adaptation methods given the heterogeneity of countries included. Diversity in agroecological features, socioeconomic, institutional, and environmental issues was not addressed in these studies. This has limited the contribution of adaptation strategies, as the adoption of adaptation strategies to climate variability and change is context specific.