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Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14599-14617; doi:10.3390/su71114599

Access to Risk Mitigating Weather Forecasts and Changes in Farming Operations in East and West Africa: Evidence from a Baseline Survey

Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, North-West University Mafikeng Campus, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa
Academic Editors: Richard Moore and Marc A. Rosen
Received: 6 August 2015 / Revised: 20 October 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 30 October 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [723 KB, uploaded 30 October 2015]

Abstract

Unfavorable weather currently ranks among the major challenges facing agricultural development in many African countries. Impact mitigation through access to reliable and timely weather forecasts and other adaptive mechanisms are foremost in Africa’s policy dialogues and socio-economic development agendas. This paper analyzed the factors influencing access to forecasts on incidence of pests/diseases (PD) and start of rainfall (SR). The data were collected by Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and analyzed with Probit regression separately for East Africa, West Africa and the combined dataset. The results show that 62.7% and 56.4% of the farmers from East and West Africa had access to forecasts on start of rainfall, respectively. In addition, 39.3% and 49.4% of the farmers from East Africa indicated that forecasts on outbreak of pests/diseases and start of rainfall were respectively accompanied with advice as against 18.2% and 41.9% for West Africa. Having received forecasts on start of rainfall, 24.0% and 17.6% of the farmers from East and West Africa made decisions on timing of farming activities respectively. Probabilities of having access to forecasts on PD significantly increased with access to formal education, farm income and previous exposure to climatic shocks. Furthermore, probabilities of having access to forecasts on SR significantly increased (p < 0.05) with access to business income, radio and perception of more erratic rainfall, among others. It was recommended that promotion of informal education among illiterate farmers would enhance their climatic resilience, among others. View Full-Text
Keywords: unfavorable weather; resilience; perception; start of rainfall; pests/diseases; forecasts unfavorable weather; resilience; perception; start of rainfall; pests/diseases; forecasts
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Oyekale, A.S. Access to Risk Mitigating Weather Forecasts and Changes in Farming Operations in East and West Africa: Evidence from a Baseline Survey. Sustainability 2015, 7, 14599-14617.

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