Determinants of Adaptive Strategies to Climate Change Among Smallholder Dairy Farmers of Migori County-Kenya
ODHIAMBO, Charles Okech
MetadataShow full item record
Climate change (CC) impedes Kenyan smallholder dairying. An understanding of climate changes and factors determining smallholder dairy farmers‟ CC adaptation could help sustain the industry in milk-deficient regions. This study sought to establish the factors that determine smallholder dairy farmers‟ CC adaptation in Migori County-Kenya. Specifically, it sought to assess the level of CC adaptation, the influence of socio-demographics on CC adaptation; and relationships between CC perceptions, knowledge and institutional support and adaptation among study respondents. Using Concurrent Fixed Mixed Methods, data was collected from 367 smallholder dairy farmers with at least 10 years‟ experience obtained by multi-stage sampling; while purposive sampling was used to pick qualitative study respondents. Binary logistic regression and Framework methods were used in analysing quantitative and qualitative data, respectively. Data from nearest meteorological station indicated a 0.3oC increase in both day and night temperature (1982-2015)and about 195mm increase in annual rainfall(1982-2015), confirming respondents‟ perceptions. Respondents perceived CC had high impact on dairy cattle health (61.3%) and feed availability (43.6%), and moderate effect on labour requirements (43.6%). Adaptation practices included mixed farming (96.5%), non-intensive production (95.1%), using household labour (94.6%), reducing herd size to 2 (92.9%), establishing own fodder (92.4%), rearing cross-bred cattle (87.7%), mainly of non-Friesian blood and their crosses (87.5), and maintaining an increasing trend in income from milk sales (68.4%). Mixed farming, non-intensive production system, and own fodder were main adaptability determinants. Z-scores (7.05<Z<17.82; p<0.05) indicated significantly high adaptation level. Gender significantly influenced household labour use (Adjusted Odds=0.32; p=0.05); while household size significantly influenced adoption of own fodder (Adjusted Odds=0.70; p=0.00) and increasing dairy income trend (Adjusted Odds=0.82; p=n/a). Perceptions of decreased night temperatures significantly influenced mixed farming (Adjusted Odds=0.13; p=0.04) and rearing of non-Friesian breeds and their crosses (Adjusted Odds=0.19; p=0.01). Perceptions of no change in night temperatures significantly influenced rearing of non-Friesian breeds and their crosses (Adjusted Odds=0.08; p=0.02); and perceptions that distribution of short rains got worse significantly influenced adoption of own fodder (Adjusted Odds=0.02; p=0.01). Majority (61%) of respondents had above-average CC knowledge, with the total score greatly influencing dairy herd size (Adjusted Odds=0.11; p=0.02). Public extension services (50.4%), radio (38.1%) and television (15.3%) were most preferred CC information sources. The study concluded that CC has occurred in Migori, having moderate to high effects. Study respondents are well adapted; with farmers‟ socio-demographics, CC perceptions, knowledge, and institutional support positively influencing their CC adaptation. Governments should invest in climate forecasting infrastructure; support female farmers‟ adaptation; use radio, television and farmer-based extension approaches to pass climate information; and incorporate indigenous CC knowledge in CC adaption plans, strategies and policies.