The practice of pasture-based livestock farming systems in South Africa is susceptible to climate-related events, low production output, income fluctuation, and by extension poor adaptive capacity. Understanding the importance and gravity of sustainable livestock farming through adaptive capacity has been identified as a tool to cope in the face of the climate-related event which extends to production output. It is to this end, that the study explored the adaptive capacity and the socioeconomic determinants that influence this capacity used by the pasture-based livestock farmers in the study area. Random sampling technique was used to select a sample of 277 pasture-based livestock farmers in the study area from and their responses concerning on demography, farm-based characteristics, production constraints and adaptive capacity were used. Data were analyzed, in which the descriptive statistics, composite scores, and the extended ordered probit model were used to establish the results. The findings revealed the adaptive capacity score of low, moderate, and high to be 40.1%, 43.7%, and 16.2% respectively. Correspondingly, the model estimate revealed the significant factors that affect the adaptive capacity to include: the use of labor (p
< 0.05), other sources of income (p
< 0.05). Conversely, the age of the farmers (p
< 0.05) and landowners (p
< 0.01) was found significant but had a negative relationship to adaptive capacity. By implication, the study concluded that there is a need for fruitions of policies that support farmers’ socioeconomic behavior to engage more in adaptive capacity and to improve the Sustainable Development Goals of the united nation as well as vision 2030 of the National Development Plan.
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