Farmers’ Perception and Factors Influencing their Response to Climate Change in the North Bank Region of the Gambia
Crop production is mainly rain-fed in most developing economies especially in Africa. Therefore, any variation in the climate patterns has immediate effects on productivity. It is crucial for farmers in this region to sustainably adapt to climate change if food security, sufficiency and sustained livelihoods are to be achieved. A farmer’s choice of an adaptation strategy is influenced by certain socioeconomic factors and the perception of the farmer about the changes in climate. This study investigates farmers’ perceptions and the socioeconomic factors that influenced their decisions to respond to climate change in the North Bank Region of The Gambia. Data for the study was collected from 258 farmer household heads and nine Focus Group Discussions. Descriptive statistics and a logit regression model were used to analyze the data obtained from the households. Results from the study revealed that about 97.29% of farmers had experienced changes in climate factors for the past 30 years. Also, analysis from the logit model indicated a combination of socioeconomic factors influenced a farmer’s response to climate change. The study concluded that; age, awareness of climate change, marital status, access to extension services and farmland influence farmers in the North Bank Region to adopt response strategies to climate change. It is recommended that the positive and significant socioeconomic factors that influence response in this study such as awareness of climate change, access to extension services, access to credit and size of farmland should be considered and enhanced when implementing programmes and projects on response/adaptation to climate change among farmers in the study region.
Keywords: Perception, Response, Climate Change, The Gambia, logit Model
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