Climate Variability, Causes and Consequences Percieved by Smallholder Farmers of Soro Woreda, Hadiya Zone, Southern Nations’, Nationalities’and Peoples’ Region, Ethiopia
Keywords:Climate Variability, Smallholder Farmers’ Perception, Hadiya, Soro, SNNPR
Climate change has become environmental, social, institutional and economic threats to the world. People in developing countries have also been facing serious challenges due to environmental strains.This study was focused to assesse climate variability, causes and consequences perceived by smallholder farmers in Soro woreda of Hadiya zone, Southern Nations’, Nationalities’and Peoples’Region. The study was conducted in 4 sample kebeles that were puroposely selected based on their accessibility, agro-ecological zone and population. Accordingly, 189 sample respondents were identified using simple random and systematic sampling. The primary data were collected using household survey,key informants interview, focus group discussions, and field observation. Secondary data on rainfall and temperature data from 1995 to 2014 were collected from National Meteorological Service Agency. Discriptive statistics, rainfall coefficient, coefficient of variation, linear regression and deviations of annual and monthly means from weighted mean were employed for data analyses. The results indicated presence of climate variability:increasing temperature, decreasing rainfall, and increasing seasonality of rainfall in the study area. The wettest and driest years were 1997 and 1998, and 2001 and 2004, respectively. Moreover, seven big rain months (MAMJJlAS) with moderate concentration, four dry months (NDJF), and one small rain month (O) were identified. Summer (34.%) and Spring (31.4%) seasons were with highest rainall contribution to annual rainfall. Nearly 2/3rd of sample respondents perceived human intervention as major causes of climate variability. Natural factors and Creater punishments due to human sin were perceived causes of climate variability by 18% and 10% of the respondents, respectively. Major consequences of climate variability perceived by smallholder farmers include increase in loss of agricultural outputs, loss of soil fertility, rill or gully erosion, decrease in ground water table, extinction of indigenous crops and trees, and human, crop, livestock and plant diseases, decrease in crop and livestock production, disintegration of social institutions and networks such as edir, equb and debo among others. Thus, it calls for proper insurance system, improvement of human and livestock health facilities, crop protection technologies, integrated irrigation and rain water harvesting technologies as well as livelihood diversitification towards sustainble agricultural production and livelihood development in Soro woreda in paricular and related areas at large.
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