Weather forecasts, farmer perceptions and adaptation to climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa

Authors: Andrew Zimmer*, University of Arizona, Zack Guido, University of Arizona, Tom Evans, University of Arizona
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Environmental Perception, Africa
Keywords: climate change, agriculture, perceptions, weather, Kenya
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Roosevelt 6, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Sub-Saharan Africa is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, due to high reliance on seasonal rainfall for subsistence agriculture. The impacts of climate change are projected to disrupt both the frequency and duration of weather patterns in this region presenting challenges for agriculture. Farmer’s ability to use forecast information and predict seasonal weather have important implications for farm management and climate change adaptation. Previously, farmers had high confidence in rainy season onset and seasonal weather patterns, allowing them to decide which cultivars to plant each season. With the onset of climate change many farmers are finding these predictions more difficult. Drawing from household survey data collected in Kenya during June and July of 2018, we analyze both farmers use of weather and climate information, and their perceptions of seasonal weather, allowing us to investigate the role of these perceptions in climate change adaptation and what types of households are likely to experiment with new farm strategies.

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