Coping Strategies against Climate Change in Agricultural Production in Kitui District, Kenya
Khisa, Gladys V.
Oteng’i, S. B.
Mikalitsa, S. M.
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The aim of this paper is to assess the coping and adaptation strategies that have been employed by farmers in their agricultural activities against the effects of climate change in Kitui district. It also looks at the factors that determine the coping strategies employed by the farmers. The study assessed the strategies which the farmers employed in an effort to mitigate against the negative effects of climate change on agricultural production. Kitui district is one of the semi- arid districts in Kenya where the effect of climate change has been felt in almost all sectors of the economy. The study utilized a descriptive research design in order to bring out the relationship between climatic elements, mainly rainfall and temperature and agricultural production and the coping strategies employed by the farmers to cushion their farming activities against the negative effects of climate change. Data was collected from 400 small scale farmers who owned less than five acres of land which was used for agricultural purposes. The data was collected using structured questionnaires, observation, interviews and focus group discussions. The data collected was on whether the farmers employed coping strategies, the factors that determined the strategies employed and why some farmers did not employ any strategies. The results of the study indicate that very few farmers 26% (104) employed coping strategies against climate change effects while majority of them 74% (296) did not. The results also show that the main strategies employed so as to mitigate against climate change were irrigation, digging of zia pits, planting drought resistant crops among others. The main factors that determined the coping strategy employed were availability of capital and proximity to the rivers.