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 AJCC  Vol.6 No.4 , December 2017
Climate Change Induced Vulnerability of Smallholder Farmers: Agroecology-Based Analysis in the Muger Sub-Basin of the Upper Blue-Nile Basin of Ethiopia
Abstract: Ethiopia is also frequently identified as a country that is highly vulnerable to climate variability and change. The potential adverse effects of climate change on Ethiopia’s agricultural sector are a major concern, particularly given the country’s dependence on agricultural production, which is sensitive to climate change and variability. This problem calls the need to understand agroecology based vulnerability to climate change and variability to better adapt to climate risks and promote strategies for local communities so as to enhance food security. The objective of this study is to estimate and compare the level of vulnerability of smallholder farmers’ to climate change and variability from three agroecology representing Muger River sub-Basin of the upper Blue Nile basin using Livelihood Vulnerability Index. The research used quantitative and qualitative data collected through Focussed Group Discussions, key informant interviews and a questionnaire survey of 442 sampled households across three different agro-ecologies in the sub-basin. The results reveal that along with the different agro-ecological zone, households and communities experienced different degrees of climate vulnerability. These differences are largely explained by differences in exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers. The livelihood vulnerability analysis reveals that Kolla agroecology exhibits relatively low adaptive capacity, higher sensitivity and higher exposure to climate change and variability that is deemed to be the most vulnerable agroecology. These contributing factors to a vulnerability in Kolla agroecology are largely influenced by assets, livelihood diversification, innovation, infrastructure, socio-demographic factors, social capital, agriculture, food security, and natural disasters and climate variability. The result furthermore shows that Dega agroecology has least vulnerable owing to its higher adaptive capacity. These results suggest that designing agroecology based resilience-building adaptation strategies is crucial to reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climate change and variability.
Cite this paper: Amare, A. and Simane, B. (2017) Climate Change Induced Vulnerability of Smallholder Farmers: Agroecology-Based Analysis in the Muger Sub-Basin of the Upper Blue-Nile Basin of Ethiopia. American Journal of Climate Change, 6, 668-693. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2017.64034.
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