Next Article in Journal
Water Conserving Irrigation Practices, Plant Growth, Seasonal Crop Coefficients, and Nutrition of Container-Grown Woody Ornamentals
Previous Article in Journal
Water and Sediment Budget of Casiquiare Channel Linking Orinoco and Amazon Catchments, Venezuela

Smallholder Farmers’ Adaptation to Drought: Identifying Effective Adaptive Strategies and Measures

Department of Agricultural Economics, University of the Free State, Posbus 339, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa
Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(10), 2069;
Received: 16 August 2019 / Revised: 22 September 2019 / Accepted: 25 September 2019 / Published: 3 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Scarcity)
One of the biggest challenges for South African food security is recurring drought. It is a major concern due to insufficient knowledge and the low levels of resources or livelihood assets available to farmers in vulnerable situations, thereby limiting coping and adaptation choices. The objective of this paper was to identify the current adaptation and coping measures used by smallholder farmers, with a particular emphasis on farmers’ vulnerability to drought and the adaptive measures or strategies that are effective in the study area. In addition, we determined factors influencing their choice of adaptation strategies. In this way, the extent of farmers’ vulnerability and how this affects the choice of coping or adaptation strategies during drought were determined. The multinomial probit model (MPM) was used to examine the factors that influence farmers’ choice of coping/adaptation strategies in the study area. The results show that the respondents’ human capital vulnerability to drought was very high compared to their economic and social vulnerability. Influences such as age, gender, and marital status contributed to their human capital vulnerability. The majority of the respondents implemented water-use restrictions as a coping strategy during drought periods. There were several reasons for this, such as the resources available, the effective coping strategy for that specific location/area, and the socio-economic status of the respondents. The inadequate contribution by the government to drought risk reduction, the age of the respondents, the monthly income of each household, and the inequality of decision-making powers between male and female respondents were also found to contribute greatly to choosing an effective adaptation strategy. This study contributes to the ongoing investigation of the adaptation strategies and coping measures used by farmers vulnerable to drought in arid and semi-arid areas in Africa. This is done by identifying effective adaptation and coping measures within the farmers’ operational environment, unlike other studies that have only identified adaptation and coping strategies without examining their effectiveness in the given environment. Also, the inclusion of the human, social, economic, institutional, natural, and political forms of capital as determinants of the farmers’ choice of adaption and coping measures provides relevant insights for efficient and sustainable policy design. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought; effective adaptation; vulnerability; water scarcity drought; effective adaptation; vulnerability; water scarcity
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Muthelo, D.; Owusu-Sekyere, E.; Ogundeji, A.A. Smallholder Farmers’ Adaptation to Drought: Identifying Effective Adaptive Strategies and Measures. Water 2019, 11, 2069.

AMA Style

Muthelo D, Owusu-Sekyere E, Ogundeji AA. Smallholder Farmers’ Adaptation to Drought: Identifying Effective Adaptive Strategies and Measures. Water. 2019; 11(10):2069.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Muthelo, Dakalo; Owusu-Sekyere, Enoch; Ogundeji, Abiodun A. 2019. "Smallholder Farmers’ Adaptation to Drought: Identifying Effective Adaptive Strategies and Measures" Water 11, no. 10: 2069.

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop