Full Length Research Paper
Climate change poses a major threat to agricultural production and food security in Ethiopia. Temperature rise and variability in rainfall patterns have had serious consequences on crop and livestock production. Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) is one of the solutions that simultaneously address the issues of food security, climate change and agricultural productivity. The objective of this study was to examine trends and variability of temperature and rainfall, identify local CSA practices and their implications to food security. The study was conducted using mixed methods approaches, in which 368 randomly selected households were surveyed, 10 key informants were interviewed, and 6 focus group discussions participants were held. The analysis was based on survey data and a binary logistic regression model was used. Findings revealed that highly adopted CSA practices were conservation agriculture, integrated soil fertility management, small scale irrigation, and improved livestock management. Factors determining CSA practices were also explored such as household size, farming system, off-farm income, access to irrigated farm, distance to market, farm size, and access to agricultural credit. It was evident that CSA practices had a great potential to solve challenges and highest implication to food security. The maximum and minimum annual temperature of the study area has increased by 0.98 and 0.46ºC while the trend of average annual temperature has increased by about 0.72ºC. Annual rainfall has increased significantly by 153.73 mm, in small rainy season (Belg) has decreased by 30.78 mm, and in main rainy season (Kiremt) has increased significantly by 120.96 mm in the past three decades. The study also concludes that a large proportion of respondents were aware of most of the practices, but adoption of CSA practices examined was very low. Therefore, as a recommendation, sensitization of farmers on reality of climate change and the need to adopt CSA practices towards reduction of adverse effect of climate change should continue. Policy and support program should focus on dissemination of CSA practices to a larger proportion of smallholder farmers.
Key words: Climate smart agriculture, climate change, food security
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