Farmers’ Perception of the Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Food Security in Rubanda District, South Western Uganda

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OMMEGA Publishers
Climate variability adversely impacts crop production and imposes a major constraint on farming planning, mostly under rain fed conditions across developing countries. Considering the recent advances in climate science, many studies are trying to provide a reliable basis for climate, and subsequently agricultural production forecasts. Rainfall and temperature variability from season to season greatly affects soil water availability to crops, and thus poses crop production risks to agriculture which is a major economic activity in Rubanda District, Southwestern Uganda. It was observed that farmers tend to rely on their accumulated experience about weather conditions in the schedule of their farm operations. Therefore this study was designed to examine farmers’ perception of the impacts of climate variability and change on food security in Rubanda District of Southwestern Uganda. Primary data were obtained through questionnaire administration and field observations among the farmers in Rubanda district. Secondary data was obtained from Kabale Meteorological center (rainfall and temperature) between 1976 and 2016. Simple random sampling technique was employed in the selection of sample size and a total of 200 farmers were randomly selected for the study. The selection of the sample size was based on the procedure of Yamane (1967). Microsoft Excel office 2013 was used to show trends of climate variability and change and SPSS version 20 for descriptive analysis. The results of the analyses showed that temperature increased significantly whereas a decreasing trend of rainfall was observed. Farmers perceived the variability of the climate to have led to the decline of agricultural production hence impacting on food security. The chi-square analysis showed that Climate variability and change has significant relationship with food availability (p < 0.05), food access (p < 0.05), food consumption (p < 0.05) and food stability (p < 0.05). The test also showed that there is variation in the perception of climate variability and change among the farmers in Rubanda District (p < 0.05). Climate variability and change factors have the potential for climatic stress on food security according to the observed agricultural production decline and farmers are seasonally faced with problems of food deficits due to unpredicted extreme weather events. The study established that policies, improved access to climate forecasting and dissemination and accessible extension service should be directed toward interventions to improve agriculture productivity by addressing issues concerning aspects of climate variability and change that constantly affect the dimensions of food security.
Climate Variability and Change; Food security; Rubanda district; Agricultural production; Farmers’ perception
: Willbroad, B., et al. Farmers’ Perception of the Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Food Security in Rubanda District, South Western Uganda. (2018) J Environ Health Sci 4(2): 64- 73.