Farmers’ Agro-climatological Knowledge of Changes in Precipitation and Temperature Extremes in Semi-arid Nakasongola

Owoyesigire, Brian, Denis Mpairwe


Understanding agro-climatological knowledge of farmers to climate extremes provides useful information in developing appropriate adaptation strategies critical for enhancing resilience of agricultural systems to climate change. This study was conducted to establish farmers’ agro-climatological knowledge and perceptions to trends of climate extremes in semi-arid Nakasongola district. Climate extremes were derived by analyzing rainfall and temperature data sets from 1970 to 2013 using RClimdex software. Data to establish farmer’s knowledge were collected through face to face household interviews and analyzed using descriptive statistics by SPSS. Annual total precipitation (PRCPTOT) index showed increasing non significant trends (P > 0.05). Heavy precipitation days (R10mm) showed weak positive non significant increasing trend (P < 0.05). Consecutive wet days (CWDs) were decreasing (P < 0.05) while consecutive dry days (CDDs) were significantly increasing. Percentage hot days were positively increasing while warm nights revealed a declining trend. Farmers’ perceived changes in rainfall and temperature extremes compared well with the observed climatological trends. CDDs and heavy precipitation days were the most perceived extremes. Key adaptation strategies included; fencing of grazeable land, use of drought tolerant pasture species, utilization of crop residues and pasture conservation, water harvesting and change of grazing time. Limited access to climate information and insecure land ownership rights were key barriers constraining adaptation. Therefore policies that ensure secure land ownership rights while improving farmers’ access to early warning information on climate events can effectively facilitate adaptation to climate change.

Key words: Trends, precipitation, temperature, extremes and climate change

DOI: 10.7176/JNSR/11-20-05

Publication date:October 31st 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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