Farmers' perceptions of climate variability, their adaptation strategies and agricultural productivity: a case of Limpopo province, South Africa

  • David B Afful Centre for Rural Community Empowerment, School of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Limpopo, South Africa
  • K Ayisi Risk and Vulnerability Science Centre/VLIR-IUC, University of Limpopo, South Africa
Keywords: perceptions, climate variability, productivity, spatial and temporal variation, subsistence farming


The provision of farm management decision support and advisory services to insure climate resilient agricultural production systems, especially for subsistence farmers, depends on data on such producers. The main objective of the paper was to generate such data by comparing the status quo regarding dryland, subsistence grain farmers' perceptions of climate variability, their adaptation strategies and crop productivity. Using a survey questionnaire, the comparison was made across time (2014 and 2017) in selected municipalities of Limpopo province. The findings across time and aggregated for all the different local municipalities investigated were similar regarding respondents' perceptions of climate variability, adaptation strategies used and crop productivity. The perceptions revealed that respondents were aware of the reality of climate variability and its negative effects on their crop and livestock production, Agricultural productivity amongst extension and non-extension recipients was low, with minimal differences. These findings auger well for the development of common strategies to improve the effectiveness of the support for farm management including climate variability that is provided by the public agricultural extension service to the group of producers in this study to reduce the negative effects of climate variability on their crop productivity. This will eventually help to improve their food security.

  • Abstract 13
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