Climate change effects are threats to the livelihood of Sub-Saharan smallholder farms. Farmers’ response and readiness to take adaptive measures depend on how they perceive (perception) and moreover understand and recognize the causes (awareness) of climate change. Most studies used interchangeably perception and awareness to climate change. Taking the example of soil nutrient management, this study demonstrated the importance of distinguishing awareness from perception in climate change adaptation studies and for policy design. The study was conducted in South-western Burkina Faso. Using a semi-structured questionnaire, 360 households were surveyed. Rainfall variation and onset of the cropping season were used as climate change evidences to assess climate change perception and awareness. Descriptive statistics and Z-test were run. Results showed that beyond climate change perception, farmers largely took adaptive measures when they understand and can explain causes of climate change. Therefore, climate change adaptation studies and policy interventions should distinguish awareness from perception, and policy design should stress on raising climate change awareness of smallholder farmers.
Key words: Climate change perception, climate change awareness, sustainable soil nutrient management, smallholder farms, Burkina Faso.
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