Adaptation to climate change in Borana, Ethiopia

The article “Adaptation of agriculture to climate change in semi-arid Borena, Ethiopia”, published in 2016 in Regional Environmental Change 16 (8): 2317–2330, reports on findings from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Livestock production is very risky due to climate variability in semi-arid Ethiopia. Using data collected from 400 households in the Borana zone of Oromia Region, CCAFS explored what drives adoption of practices that can decrease the vulnerability of agropastoralists to climate change. The adaptive capacity of households was stronger when the quality of local institutions was high. However, adaptive capacity had less explanatory power in explaining adoption of adaptation options than household socioeconomic characteristics; this suggests that aggregating information into one indicator of adaptive capacity for site-specific studies may not help explain the adoption behaviour of households. Strong local institutions lead to changes in key household-level characteristics such as membership in community groups, years lived in a village, access to credit, financial savings and crop income. These positively affected adoption of crop- and livestock-related adaptation practices. Poor access to a tarmac road was positively related to intensification and diversification of cropping but negatively related to intensification of livestock production, an important cash-generating activity in the region. The findings suggest that better local institutions lead to changes in household characteristics, which positively affect adoption of adaptation practices, suggesting that policies should aim to strengthen local institutions.

Posted on 24 August 2017 in Pastoralism & Climate Change