Linking local climate change institutional coordination to climate change adaptation among smallholder farmers in Mkushi district, Zambia.

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Namasani, Musa
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The University of Zambia
The reduced budget allocation to agriculture in the context of climate change has contributed to the failure of many institutions to carry out adaptation activities to ensure food security for smallholders in Zambia. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of local institutions in coordinating climate change activities for adaptation of smallholder famers in Mkushi district. The study was conducted in the Musofu and Nkumbi area of the Mkushi District with a sample of 144 smallholder farmers and 16 key informants from various establishments. The data were collected using structured interview guide and semi-structured questionnaire. The data were analyzed using a combined quantitative and qualitative approaches. The Chi-square was employed for the analysis of quantitative data and thematic analysis of the qualitative data. Literature reviewed did not present studies that linked local climate change institutional coordination to climate change adaptation in Mkushi district. The survey discovered that the effects of climate change on smallholder farmers included poor agricultural yields and crop wilting. However, the findings revealed that there are gaps in legislation for effective coordination of adaptation activities with 56.3 percent indicating that the gaps are at the national level. To measure perceived effectiveness of institutions in coordinating climate change activities the researcher used the following markers; (1) training of farmers’;(2) advancement of conservation farming; (3) promotion of horticulture and drought tolerant crops; (4) encouraging climate smart agriculture and crop diversification; (5) Funding of affected communities; and (6) mobilization of funds. The study found that farmer training in climate change adaptation was perceived not to be effective by the key informants (X2 = 2.000; df =2; p- value = 0.368) while for farmers it was effective (X2 = 36.833; df=4; P-value=0.001). Promotion of conservation agriculture by government institutions was perceived not to be effective by key informants (X2 = 6.500; df=4; P-value=0.165) while for farmers it was effective (X2 = 31.625; df= 4; P-value=0.001). The promotion of horticultural and drought-tolerant crops was not effective by the key informants (X2 = 7.125; df=4; P-value=0.129). For farmers it was effective (X2 = 36.92; df= 4; P-value=0.001). Further, encouraging of climate-smart agriculture was also considered not to be effective by farmers (X2 = 2.125; df=4; P-value=0.713). For farmers it was effective (X2 = 45.497; df= 4; P-value=0.001). Mobilization of funds for affected communities and financing were not effective by both key informants (X2 = 38.171; df=4; P-value=0.002) and farmers (X2 = 47.181; df= 4; P-value=0.001). Overall, the coordination of climate change adaptation to smallholder farmers in Mkushi was moderately effective due to the absence of NGO support, and lack of financial support to the ministry of agriculture. The inadequate human resources, lack of adaption capacity and specialized officers, and institutional failure to mobilize funds. Reduction of budget allocation to the ministry of agriculture and the labor intensity of conservation farming are major effects rendering institutional climate change adaption activities to be ineffective in Mkushi District. To ensure smallholder food security, climate change coordination should be scaled up locally to enhance adaptation through increased funding and capacity building. Policies should be commensurate with the financial allocation and decentralization of institutions to enable an effective bottom-up system of adaptation planning. The policies must be enacted into laws so as to enhance implementation of climate change adaptation by the establishments, thereby making smallholder farmers adapt the sustainable climate change adaptation. Keywords: Adaptation, Mitigation, Climate Change Adaptation Activities, Climate Change, Institution, Public Private Partnership
Climate change. , Sustainable development , Environmental management , Soil conservation