The contribution of climate smart agriculture to local livelihoods in Buvuma District, Central Uganda
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Climate change is a current threat to food production. Drought and variability in rainfall patterns have impacted crop and livestock production in Buvuma Island leading to a decline in food production. Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is one way to turn around the situation to greater resilience of livelihoods and higher agricultural productivity leading to improved livelihoods. This study (i) identified the CSA practices used by the farmers to adapt to climate change, (ii) evaluated the impacts of these CSA practices on the farmers’ livelihoods, and (iii) assessed how CSA practices have enhanced resilience of farmers in Buvuma Island. A cross sectional survey was carried out among 80 randomly selected local farmers. Primary data were collected using semi-structured interviews and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics were used to identify CSA practices used by the farmers to adapt to climate change, how CSA practices enhanced resilience, challenges the farmers face in trying to adopt CSA practices and the approaches used to address these challenges. Linear regression was used to analyze the impacts of CSA practices on livelihoods. Results indicated that majority of the farmers had experienced some form of adverse elements of climate change (39.2% faced drought and 38.7% unpredictable rainfall). Majority (95%) of the respondents used organic fertilizers, 70% of the respondents practiced mixed cropping, while 51% practiced on-farm crop and animal diversification. Results showed that use of improved crop varieties, on-farm crop and animal diversification, mulching made significant improvements on the livelihoods while farming using organic fertilizer (97%), mixed cropping (72%), and crop and animal diversification (53%) were the major perceived drivers of resilience. It is recommended that farmers join and participate in farmer organizations and be encouraged to incorporate CSAs as much as possible to have a higher resilience and better livelihoods.