Farmers’ Perceptions, Exposure and Response to Climate Variability in Mwea, Kenya

Mutembei MM, Gachene CKK Chemining’wa GN and Karuma AN


Full Length Research Paper  I Published March,2017


Journal of Agricultural Science and Food Technology  Vol. 3 (2), pp.29-38





Climate variability is expected to have adverse effects on livelihoods in farming communities. A survey was carried out to establish the extent of farmers’ knowledge and response to climate variability in Mwea, Central Kenya. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data on household and livelihood characteristics through individual interviews. The stratified random sampling technique was used to sample 385 farmers. Results show that 75.3% of the respondents were aware of climate change. Thus 95.6% perceived changes in rainfall patterns while 98.3% (p<0.001) perceived changes in temperature. Rainfall variability was described as being more unpredictable (55.7%), decreased in days and amount (41.8%) while only 2.4% were of the opinion that it had increased. Temperature change was described as being hotter by 75.7% of the respondents; more unpredictable (21.9%) and 2.3% thought it had become cooler. This variability in climate influenced farming among 70.4% (p<0.001) farmers. Some of the coping strategies reported were early planting by 65.7% (p<0.001), planting different crops at the same time (24.6%) and planting different of crops at different times (9.6%). Drought was the main climate related risk experienced by 69.4% (p<0.001) of the respondents. There is need to improve awareness to climate variability and response strategies in this region.

Key Words:
Climate variability, Coping strategies, Drought, Temperature rise, Rainfall variability and Respondents.

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