Gender Differences in Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in Maize-Legume Based Farming System in Ethiopia

Rehima Mussema


Climate change is considered one of the most challenging current Ethiopian issues. Adaptation strategies are important to deal with climate change. The study assessed farmers’ adaptation strategies of climate change and identified their determinants. The survey was taken 2065 households in 2013 from SIMLESA, and DIIVA projects data considering Maize-Legume Based Farming System in Amhara, Oromiya, and SNNP and Benshangul Gumuz regions of Ethiopia. Six adaptation strategies (crop rotation, intercropping, SWC, stubble, planting trees and mulching) were considered as dependent variables; all strategies are found to be dependent on each other suggests to use MVP. Climate adaptation strategies of MHH and FHH were different that might be due to access to resources, skill, and knowledge, hence, MVP analysis was used for the entire sample and FHHs separately. HHH characteristics, gender role, availability of resource and access to service were organized as explanatory variables. The result of the marginal effect of the explanatory variables in the whole sample indicated that MHHs had more probability to use stubble and SWC than FHHs. The education level of HHHs enhanced to use stubble and SWC and negatively associated with mulching. Old farmers were not convinced to use stubble; because the old might not see the benefit of the new strategy. These need designing policies to make gender-responsive, training based and demand-driven adaptation strategies. Due to gender roles and responsibilities, the availability of men and women labour affected different adaptation options in different ways. Hence keeping social norm and values, and farmers’ capability and interests are important to improve the specialization and sustainability of adaptation options. Men and women labour were less likely to participate in tree planting by fear of birds attack; this suggests promoting tree planting with chopping and trimming the trees during crop planting and maturity period. Resource ownership (farm size, livestock, oxen and asset value) affected adaptation options in different ways; policy interventions suggest providing location-specific, affordable and appropriate adaptation options for the best chance of success and sustainability of the strategies. Access to membership in women groups, improved varieties, and extension affected different adaption options in different ways. These results underline the need to strengthen and support extension service and social groups to include appropriate adaption strategies as one of the technology packages. Access to market enabled to choose adaptation options suggests strengthening and establishing an early warning system at the village level to forecast and farmer’s preparedness. Living in different regions suggests providing agro-ecology and research-based adaptation options to manage risks and maximize opportunities from climate change. Gender differential adaptation strategies were observed in the farming system. FHHs more adopted stubble, crop rotation, and SWC than MHHs did. Due to a long time using age and education of FHHs significantly and negatively affected crop rotation. Due to gender roles, more women labour discouraged to engage in SWC. Policies should give better attention to investing and availing women-specific alternative adaptation options. Collecting firewood is the responsibility of women; hence being a member of women in cooperative negatively affected stubble. There is a need to avail of alternative options or renewable energy sources. FHHs with more farmland less likely to choose SWC due to high cost and different characteristics of plots, however FHHs with high assets value able to choose stubble and SWC because they can cover related costs. The policy should be designed extension system to avail appropriate and affordable options. Using more improved crop variety increases the probability of women farmers’ choosing SWC; the government requires improving the number of packages by including appropriate climate adaptation options.

Keywords: Climate adaptation, gender, mulch, stubble, MVP

DOI: 10.7176/JEES/10-6-02

Publication date:June 30th 2020


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