Climate Change Awareness in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Type Journal Article - Journal of Agricultural Science
Title Climate Change Awareness in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
Volume 5
Issue 10
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 273-282
Climate change is one of the most important environmental issues facing the world today. The impact of climate
change is a reality and it cuts across all climate-sensitive sectors including the Agriculture sector. It is well
documented by several scientists, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other experts that climate
change threatens sustainable economic development and the totality of human existence. This study will enable
small scale maize farmers in Mpumalanga province to understand the challenges and the threat posed by climate
variability and climate change. The study was conducted in Nkangala District, Mpumalanga province.
Mpumalanga province remains the largest production region for forestry and the majority of the people living in
Mpumalanga are farmers and they have contributed immensely to promote food security. However, due to the
threat by climate variability and change, sectors such as the Agriculture, Water etc are experiencing the following
pattern: (a) Putting livelihoods and food production at serious risks due to extreme climatic events, climate
variability and change. It was noted that there is a need for climate change awareness across the agriculture sector.
Currently, there is enough evidence that shows that climate change is affecting different elements of agriculture
such as crops and livestock. Random sampling technique was used to select two hundred and fifty farmers to be
interviewed. The questionnaires were administrated to household head farmers and included matters relating to
household general information, climate change awareness, land characteristics, observation on climate change and
agronomic practices including maize production. Data was analysed using the statistical for social sciences (SPSS
version 20). Descriptive statistics was used to describe data and Univariate regression analysis was conducted to
demonstrate the relationship and association of variables. It was noted that the majority of farmers in this province
need capacity building and also climate change awareness initiatives which would assist these farmers to build the
adaptive capacity, increase resilience and reduce vulnerability. By coming up with these kind of interventions it is
believed that some of these farmers would be able to change their farming methods, diversify their cropping
systems and also introduce drought tolerant crops in order for them to have good yields and also be able to generate
good income.

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