Investigating and Assessment of Weather Forecasting Needs of Smallholder Farmers for Climate Change Adaptation in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, climate change is set to hit the agricultural sector adversely and cause considerable
negative impacts particularly for smallholder farmers. Weather information is one of the requirements
for effective climate change adaptation in Ethiopia, where Agriculture is the backbone of the economy.
This study made during 2011/12 investigates whether smallholder farmers, development agents and
organizations in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia have access to weather information and
consequently use it in their agricultural activities to overcome adverse impacts of climate change. For
this study, data were collected and analyzed from 200 randomly selected households, 34
development agents and 18 experts of different organizations in four districts (Meki, Melkassa, Miesso
and Ziway) representing the same agro-ecological settings in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia. The
result revealed that the adaptation capacity of farmers in using weather information are constrained by language problems, difficulty in understanding forecast terminology, absence of a center for
coordination and downscaling weather information at local level and inconsistency in the time of
information provision were the common problems identified in the study area. A new weather
information delivery system is proposed which enables effective and location and purpose specific
weather information delivery to farming communities and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector.

Author(s) Details

Hirut Getachew Feleke
Department of Plant Science, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Science, Ambo University, Ambo, Ethiopia.

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