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Title: Effectiveness of communication systems and indigenous knowledge in adaptation to climate change by smallholder farmers of Kilifi District, Kenya
Authors: Achiando, Grace A.
Keywords: Communication systems -- Indigenous knowledge -- Climate change
Issue Date: Oct-2012
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: Food production in Kilifi district, like in other parts of Kenya, has been declining over the years, lowering food sufficiency to about 30 percent down from 50 percent. Food production continues to decline despite all the efforts put in by the Government and non-governmental agencies, and this has been exacerbated by changes in climate. The adaptation strategies that are in place have not lead to any meaningful improvement and farmers continue to get reduced crop yields each year. Farmers have lived with climate variations for many years and have developed their own coping strategies, referred to as indigenous technical knowledge (ITK). Indigenous technical knowledge is an accumulated experience over time, which could provide insightful guidance into management of climate variability if it was integrated into modern scientific knowledge. However, this local knowledge related to adaptation to climate variability has largely not been recognized or documented and it is only lately that it is deemed to be critical in formulating policies to mitigate the harsh effects of the rapidly changing climate. This study is aimed at identifying indigenous knowledge and perception of effectiveness of communication systems for adaptation to climate change by smallholder farmers in Kilifi District, Kenya. It also aimed at determining the extent to which agricultural information and communication systems (AICS) have integrated indigenous knowledge for climate change adaptation by information end users. Purposive and systematic random samplings were used to select 167 study subjects (smallholder farmers). Both primary and secondary data sources were collected using observations and interviews with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed by use of both descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS version 15 for windows. Findings indicated that 84% of the respondents have had contact with extension providers. Farmers have perceived AICS to be effective in disseminating knowledge regarding climate change management strategies. The study was able to identify existing ITK that farmers use. Based on the results, it is recommended that policy interventions be employed in creating strategies that would encourage integration of ITK into scientific agricultural practices that would enable farmers to plan for and cope with current climate risks and adapt to future climate change. This would ensure sustainability and vitality in improving agricultural production for food security.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Agriculture

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