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Title: Small grains “resistance”? Making sense of Zimbabwean smallholder farmers’ cropping choices and patterns within a climate change context
Authors: Phiri, Keith
Dube, Thulani
Ncube, Cornelius
Ndlovu, Sibonokuhle
Moyo, Philani
Keywords: Climate change; sorghum; millet; semi- arid regions; Zimbabwe
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Cogent
Series/Report no.: Cogent Social Sciences;5
Abstract: This paper aims to understand why smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe are “resisting” to adopt small grains as a strategy for adapting to the negative effects of climate change. The uptake of small grains has been very low among smallholder farmers in climate change affected districts in Zimbabwe in spite of expert advice. The paper seeks to interrogate this “refusal” by smallholder farmers to adapt through small grains. Data were collected using fifty (50) in-depth semi-structured interviews and five (5) key informant interviews in Tsholotsho, Zimbabwe to understand why smallholder farmers are not shifting to small grains production en masse in response to climate change to address food insecurity gaps. The paper finds that there are a plethora of reasons leading to the non-adoption of small grains as a climate change adaptation strategy. The explanations vary. The paper thematically provided a critical overview and analysis of the attitude of smallholder farmers on small grains cultivation. The literature systematically selected, provided a wide coverage of the small grains production value chain. The narratives of farmers through interviews reveal their lived experiences and attitudes on small grains. This paper provides a new understanding of why small grains programming has not been successful in Zimbabwe over the years. The paper recommends that the government takes practical steps to enhance the uptake of small grains production through assisting farmers by training and funding projects of such nature for resilience building.
Appears in Collections:Department of Development Studies

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