W. Muzari, G. B. Nyamushamba, G. Soropa
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to discuss, with evidence from literature, the options, potential and constraints to climate change adaptation in Zimbabwes agricultural sector. The desk research was conducted in Zimbabwe, and took place in July 2014. A multi-pronged approach was adopted to identify relevant literature. A web- and e-mail based search for documentation and a desktop review of printed literature was used to enable analysis of secondary data on adaptation to climate change in the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe. Sources consulted included government and international reports, state and non-state agency development and climate change response plans, public research organizations reports, and academic and scientific literature. Zimbabwe is particularly susceptible to climate change because the livelihoods of the majority of its residents are dependent on rain-fed agriculture. Household level vulnerability in Zimbabwe is influenced by conflict and insecurity, inequitable land distribution, low education, poor infrastructure, gender inequality, dependence on climate-sensitive resources, poor health status, and HIV/AIDS. The ability of individuals, households and communities to adapt is shaped by their access to and control over natural, human, social, physical and financial resources. Agro-ecological approaches that build resilience to climate change include complex systems, use of local genetic diversity, soil organic matter enhancement, multiple cropping or polyculture systems, and agro-forestry systems and mulching. There is no comprehensive, specific national policy and legislative framework for climate change adaptation. Instead, legislative and programmatic adaptation responses are found in a plethora of development policies, strategies and action plans of various government sectors. The fact that adaptation strategies are inherent in the existing gamut of policy documents, but without much coordination, means a fragmented adaptation response is likely. Some of the current policies and programmes in Zimbabwe actually constrain climate change adaptation. There is a need to harmonize uncoordinated and fragmented pieces of legislation and strategies aimed at enabling and enhancing an adaptive response to climate change.
Keywords: climate change, adaptation, agriculture, drought, floods, livelihoods