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Open AccessArticle

Farmers’ Beliefs and Concerns about Climate Change: An Assessment from Southern Saudi Arabia

1
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Society, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
2
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Society, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt
3
California 4-H Foundation, University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources, Davis, CA 95616, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2020, 10(7), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10070253
Received: 16 June 2020 / Revised: 27 June 2020 / Accepted: 27 June 2020 / Published: 1 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture)
Climate change constitutes a major threat to agricultural production, food security, and natural resource management. Saudi Arabia is particularly susceptible to increasing temperatures and extreme climatic events, such as arid weather and drought. The purpose of this study is to assess farmers’ beliefs and concerns as regards climate change. Extensive interviews were conducted with 164 farmers in the Jazan region. Results revealed that 89.6% of the farmers believed that climate change is due to human activities and 93.3% believed that it is because of natural change. Seventy-five percent of the farmers were concerned about insects and 73% about the prevalence of weeds on their farms. Findings of cluster analysis revealed that farmers who are more likely to believe in climate change are more in agreement with the role of extension services in capacity building. Farmers’ beliefs about climate change were significantly influenced by membership of agricultural cooperatives, access to loans, use of extension services, age, farm size, and level of soil fertility. Access to loans was the only significant factor to explain the differences in farmers’ concerns. These results suggest the need for capacity-building activities targeted at improving farmers’ adaptability to manage climate variability. View Full-Text
Keywords: beliefs; concern; climate change; farmers; capacity-building; Saudi Arabia beliefs; concern; climate change; farmers; capacity-building; Saudi Arabia
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Alotaibi, B.A.; Kassem, H.S.; Nayak, R.K.; Muddassir, M. Farmers’ Beliefs and Concerns about Climate Change: An Assessment from Southern Saudi Arabia. Agriculture 2020, 10, 253.

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