Heterogeneous Farm Household Perceptions about Climate Change: A Case Study of a Semi-arid Region of Ghana

By Biola K. Badmos, Grace B. Villamor, Sampson K. Agodzo and Samuel N. Odai.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: August 28, 2015 Free Download

Climate change is a serious challenge for future development of Africa, particularly the drier regions. Knowledge and awareness about the climatic patterns are important for adaptation planning. Although there are many studies on farmers’ perception about climate change, the view of heterogeneous farm household also needs to be addressed. This paper investigates the variation and similarities in the views of heterogeneous farm household about climate change. We employed a household survey (186), interviews, and direct observation for data collection. Using principal component analysis and K-mean cluster analysis, we identified two household types that differ in terms of assets (human, natural and financial), and we compared their perception about climate change. Household-1 farmers are better off than household-2 both in land area cultivated and income generated from rain fed rice. On the other hand, household-2 farmers are better off than household-1 in terms of area cultivated for maize, and income generated from maize. Also household-2 farmers are better off than household-1 in terms of land area cultivated and income generated from irrigated rice. The findings from this study show that the two household types shared similar views with respect to rainfall and temperature pattern, as well as in the ranking of climate change drivers. However, variation was observed in the perception of the household types on adaptation constraints. More household-1 farmers (60%) compared to household-2 (43%) saw dry season farming as a barrier for adaptation. This may be due to the fact that household-2 farmers are better off with respect to irrigated rice farming. Heterogeneous household perception about climate change reveals similarities, but differences still exists in some aspects. From similar environment, we can see that farm household heterogeneity shows relationship with their climate change perception. Therefore incorporating diversities within our local environment would be important in climate change adaptation science.

Keywords: Farm Household Heterogeneity, Climatic Change, Adaptation, Northern Ghana

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.67-79. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: August 28, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.534MB)).

Dr. Biola K. Badmos

West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Civil Engineering Kwame Nkrumah University of science and technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Dr. Grace B. Villamor

West Africa Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) Center for Development Research University of Bonn, Germany, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Prof. Sampson K. Agodzo

Professor in Agricultural Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Kumasi, Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Prof. Samuel N. Odai

Professor in Civil Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of science and technology; Director of graduate research programme, climate change and land-use, West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Kumasi, Ghana


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