International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064

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Research Paper | Environmental Science Studies | Zimbabwe | Volume 3 Issue 9, September 2014

Impacts of Climate Variability and Change and Farmers? Responsiveness in the Agricultural Sector in Zimbabwe

W. Muzari [2] | S. Muvhunzi | G. Soropa [2] | O. L. Kupika

Abstract: Agriculture makes a substantial contribution to Zimbabwes economy in terms of employment creation, household incomes, food security and economic growth. In recent decades, the performance of the agricultural sector has been hampered by frequent droughts. The paper uses research results from published and unpublished works to determine the impacts of climate variability and change on crop production, agricultural land use, crop marketing, livestock production, and rural poverty. It also looks at the positive impacts of climate change and farmers perspectives on climate change and variability. The adverse impacts of climate change are thought to dominate in the drier semi-arid smallholder communal farming regions. A small temperature rise has been estimated to substantially reduce farm incomes and increase the expanse of drier zones. Meat, milk and draft power productivity will decrease owing to droughts that affect vegetation and water resources in the rangelands. Rural poverty will be exacerbated by climate change. Finally, extended periods of wet weather due to excessive rains will adversely affect crop marketing through crop quality deterioration and destruction of physical marketing infrastructure. However, droughts, floods and excessive rains can also have positive impacts in the form of increased remittances from migrants who migrated in search of alternative sources of livelihood. Moreover, in the aftermath of droughts and excessive rains, livestock have access to abundant water and good quality vegetation to feed on. Furthermore, enough water is available for domestic purposes and watering gardens. Wild fruits and late-planted crops also flourish to the benefit of rural households. Farmers in Zimbabwe perceive that rainfall has become more unpredictable and that the prevalence of mid-season drought spells has increased. In addition, years of below-normal rainfall are becoming more frequent, semi-arid areas are getting drier, temperatures have increased, and droughts and floods are often occurring back-to-back in the same season.

Keywords: impacts, climate variability, climate change, farmer, agricultural sector

Edition: Volume 3 Issue 9, September 2014,

Pages: 1726 - 1731

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