Farmers’ perception and adaptation to climate change in west Nile sub region of Uganda
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Climate change and its impacts are the most serious long term environmental challenges faced worldwide. The raising impact of extreme weather events caused by climate change on agricultural systems has generated a rich literature on farmers‟ behaviour in the last few years. West Nile sub region experiences prevalent and pronounced lack of climate change resilience and food insecurity yet most of the households in the sub region are predominantly agrarian. In Uganda and West Nile sub region in particular, studies for understanding farmers‟ perception and adaptation on climatic issues are rather scarce. This study, therefore, assessed the gendered perception of climate change occurrence and effects among farming households and identified climate change adaptation and coping practices used in the study area. Quantitative methods were used to collect numeric and quantitative data while qualitative methods such as individual interviews from 785 respondents selected to include male, female and youth headed households from 8 districts (Nebbi, Zombo, Arua, Maracha, Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo and Adjumani). The study found that majority (77.09%) of farmers are aware of the occurrence of drought as a climate change hazard and many (72.36%) had been affected by it. Results also indicated that reduced agricultural productivity was the major impact of climate change reported by both male headed households (73.57%) and female headed households (68.88%), with timely planting being the most (58.47%) known climate change adaptation practice followed by good agronomic practices (40.89%). Generally, results showed disparities between men and women concerning perceptions of occurrence, impacts of climate change, climate awareness trainings, adaptation and adoption of practices with men headed households scoring highly than women headed households. The limited access to climate change information in the West Nile point to the need of developing gender responsive awareness and information packages to improve awareness and adoption of climate adaptation interventions.