An assessment of rainfall variability and its impacts on crop farmers in Kiboga district
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The study was conducted in Kiboga district and the main objective was to assess rainfall variability and its impacts on crop farmers. The study analyzed historical rainfall trends from 1988 to 2018 as well as how crop farmers in the study area adapt to the impacts of rainfall variability. The rainfall trends and variations were analyzed using Mann Kendall trend test while farmers’ response was analyzed using SPSS. Contrary to the null hypothesis, the study found a significant trend in rainfall for the last 30 years especially in the MAM seasonal rainfall. The major impact of rainfall variability was low crop yields as reported by 84.6% of all the respondents. The major adaptation strategies practiced by farmers include; soil and water conservation methods, change of planting dates and increased use of organic manure, whereas more than half of the respondents were not practicing any adaptation options. The study recommends that agricultural extension services for example trainings about modern farming practices and climate smart agriculture should be provided to the farmers in order for them to improve and implement better adaptation options to lessen the impacts of rainfall variability. This study will also be of assistance to better inform farmers as well as agricultural policy makers in studying the variability and trends of rainfall in order to characterize the climatology of the area.