Understanding Farmers’ Perceptions of and Adaptations to Climate Change and Variability: The Case of the Maritime, Plateau and Savannah Regions of Togo

Author : Agossou Gadédjisso-Tossou, .
LOME.
Summary:

ABSTRACT

Togolese agriculture is predominantly rain-fed and hence fundamentally dependent on the vagaries of weather. Thus, it is negatively affected by climate change. The present study assesses farmers’ perceptions and adaptation to climate change to enhance policy towards tackling the challenges climate change poses to the farmers in the study area. Descriptive statistics and multinomial logit (MNL) were used to analyze data obtained from a cross-sectional survey executed during the 2013/2014 agricultural production year in the maritime, plateau and savannah regions of Togo. The analysis of farmers’ perception to climate change reveals high increase in temperature and decrease in rainfall. These results are in line with the trend analysis of climate data that records from 1961 to 2013 about the study area especially on the temperature. Furthermore, the results show that crop diversification, change in crops, find off-farm jobs, change of the amount of land, change of the planting date and plant short season variety are the adaptation methods employed by the farmers. Moreover, with respect to the multinomial logit analysis, the results highlight that education level, farming experience, access extension services, access to credit and access to climate information are the factors that enhance farmers’ adaptive capacity to climate change and variability. Thus, there is room for better adaptation if government intensifies activities of extension workers and ensures that farmers have access to affordable credit schemes to increase their ability and flexibility to adopt adaptation measures. There is also a need to include climate change communication to facilitate exchange of climatic information that could enable smallholder farmers to adapt to changing planting dates. Finally, investment in education systems and creation of off-farm job opportunities in the rural areas can be underlined as a good policy option.