Farmers’ Awareness and Response to Climate Change in the North Bank Region, the Gambia


Climate change is noted to adversely affect livelihood activities globally through the occurrence of diverse extreme events and climate uncertainties. Rain-fed agriculture which is the backbone of most sub-Saharan economies is seriously under threat due to climate change. Thus, for farmers to sustain their livelihoods and increase crop production there is the need for them to be aware of climate change and how they can sustainably respond to it. This study focused on farmers’ awareness of climate change and their response to its effect in the North Bank Region of The Gambia. Data for the study were collected from 258 farmer household heads selected through a multi-stage sampling technique, 9 focus group discussions and 2 key informant interviews. Descriptive statistics, climate change awareness index (CCAI) and a probit regression model were used to analyze the data obtained from the households. The findings indicated that 80.6% of the farmers were aware of climate change with an average awareness index of 0.586 (58.6%). Also, an overwhelming majority of 93.41% of the farmers responded by adopting one or more response strategies. Thus, results of the probit regression model revealed that climate change awareness, access to extension, age, size of farmland, membership of farmer organization and marital status significantly influence a farmer’s response to climate change. However, inadequate credit, access to efficient inputs, access to information and poor technological skills, labor constraints and inadequate access to market were the major constraints inhibiting farmers’ response to climate change. Therefore, the study recommends that farmers collaborate to form farmer associations to enable them have easy access to farm inputs and training from donor and government agencies to improve their climate change knowledge and enhance their adaptive capacity to climate change.

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