Chisango and Maposa
Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 6 (3), pp. 127-133, March 2016.
Manuscript Number: 030316054
Impacts of Erotic Weather Patterns as a Result of Climate Change and Variability on Food Crop Productivity and Food Security in Zimbabwe’s Arid Regions of Matabeleland; A Case of Siabuwa Communal Area in Binga District
Chisango Future Fortune T and Maposa Angela*
1senior lecturer faculty of agriculture, Zimbabwe open university, Zimbabwe.
2senior lecturer faculty of arts and education, Zimbabwe open university, Zimbabwe.
This article explores the impact of climate change and variability on food crop productivity in Siabuwa area of Binga district in Matabeleland North Region. The study further examined community based adaptation and mitigation strategies devised by local farmers to cushion the catastrophic effects of climatic transformations. The sustainability of such strategies was also interrogated in the article. The study made use of qualitative methodologies where primary data was generated from a sample of 100 households drawn from a population of 400 family units. Agricultural experts and other stakeholders such as Nongovernmental organizations operating in the district produced records which were critical in the compilation of secondary data. The research used questionnaires and interviews to solicit information and obtain a broader understanding of climate change and livelihood issues from key informants and ascertain how knowledgeable people in the study area were about shocks resulting from climatic modifications and finally establish the adaptation and mitigation strategies devised by farmers to deal with the shocks emanating from such transformations. It was established that some of effects of climatic inconsistencies felt by communal farmers in Siabuwa area included total crop failure, death of livestock and over exploitation of natural resources, all of which have led to declining agricultural productivity and massive devastation of the natural resources base hence plunging local communities into persistent food insecurity and miserable poverty. Findings in the study however established that local communities have not been submissive to the catastrophic effects of climate change and variability, as they have equally responded by adopting various adaptation and mitigation strategies both individually and collectively. The study concluded that widespread poverty and food insecurity in arid regions of Zimbabwe are directly linked to climatic transformations as it has been established that poor agricultural productivity is aggravated by climate change and variability.
Keywords: Climate change; Climate variability; Food insecurity; Livelihood shocks; Adaptation; Drought resistant crops.
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