ANALYSIS OF SMALLHOLDER MAIZE FARMERS’ PERCEPTIONS ON CLIMATE CHANGE VARIABILITY AND ADOPTION OF ADAPTIVE AGRARIAN STRATEGIES IN THE GOMOA CENTRAL DISTRICT, GHANA
Maize Farmers’ Perceptions on Climate Change
This research investigated the perception of maize farmers on climate change variability and adoption of agrarian strategies. The multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 400 respondents. Data were analyzed using means, standard deviation, percentage, frequency, multiple linear regression and multinomial logistic regression. All the maize farmers were aware of climate change variability, particularly with temperature. The factors that influenced the perceptions of the maize farmers on climate change variability were gender, membership in famer-based organizations, educational level and access to climate information. Farmers perceived that bush burning was the highest driver of climate change in the district. The effect of climate change on farmers’ household basic needs was perceived to be increased cost of food while its effect on the environment was found to be reduction in crop yield. The three most adaptive agrarian strategies were planting of cover crops, rain harvesting and mixed farming. The choice of adaptation strategy was influenced by farmers’ educational level, access to climate information, age, farm size, gender and years of experience. There is the need to create more awareness on the use of agrarian strategies to reduce the impact of climate change variability on agriculture.