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Farmers’ perceptions of climate change and adaptive responses; evidence from Kunduz River Basin, Afghanistan

Mohammad Hassan Hassanyar, Jun-ichiro Giorgos Tsutsumi, Ryo Nakamatsu

Abstract


Afghanistan is among the most highly vulnerable countries to climate change shocks because of weak economic foundations and poor social capital. This study aimed to investigate smallholders’ perceptions of climate change and community level coping strategies. Interviews were conducted with household heads using structured questionnaires in four provinces Kunduz, Takhar, Baghlan, and Bamyan, located in Northeastern Afghanistan. The study determined that most farming households perceived the temperature to have increased (Kunduz 66.67%, Takhar 70.49%, Baghlan 80%, and Bamyan 77.8%) and the rainfall amount to have decreased (Kunduz 52.94%, Takhar 72.13%, Baghlan 76%, and Bamyan 74.4%). Severely dry episodes had increased, and intense rainfall and snowmelt runoff were associated with flooding. The number of climatic risks observed included low crop yields, livestock reduction, food insecurity, and irrigation scarcity. Farm-level coping strategies implemented by households such as changes in crop planting, changes in crop seed varieties, and application of pesticides to prevent side effects upon the nature of the risk. Further, constraint factors included a lack of information, limited access to farm management instruments, lack of financial and credit facilities, and limited connectivity of food products to the market and business. The study findings provide insights into local perceptions and adjustment against climate-related risks. The study suggests the government must enhance the resilience capacity of farmers to cope up with climatic challenges.


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