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Climate change perceptions and adaptations of smallholder farmers in Eastern Kenya

ABSTRACT

                Several studies have indicated the importance of understanding farmers’ perceptions of risks associated with climate change, the adaptation strategies they employ and factors that affect adaptive capacity. This study aimed to understand smallholder farmers’ perceptions of climate change, adaptation strategies and adaptive capacity in the semiarid Matungulu Sub-County, Eastern Kenya. A participatory approach, using three climate roundtables, was conducted to enhance community participation and understanding of climate change issues. The study showed that farmers’ perceptions concerning climate change are influenced by past experiences of weather extremes that have affected production levels and farm incomes. The farmers have made strategic responses to manage risks posed by climate change. However, they face several challenges in adaptation such as inadequate technical knowledge, low financial resources and inadequate land size. Further, the study showed that climate roundtables is a successful participatory approach that can give effective insights for smallholder farmers to understand agricultural vulnerability, climate change and their adaptation strategies.