Original Research

Ongoing climate crises and obstacles to adaptation: Observations from the Ditsobotla Local Municipality, South Africa

Anica Pienaar, Christo Coetzee, Livhuwani Nemakonde
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 17, No 1 | a1089 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v17i1.1089 | © 2021 Anica Pienaar, Christo Coetzee, Livhuwani Nemakonde | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 May 2021 | Published: 23 November 2021

About the author(s)

Anica Pienaar, Department of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Environmental Science and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Christo Coetzee, Department of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Environmental Science and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Livhuwani Nemakonde, Department of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Environmental Science and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Adaptation is a key component for fostering resilience amongst farmers as they are exposed to the challenges caused by climate change. However, the implementation of adaptation strategies is not equal or easy for most farming communities and are influenced by a diverse range of socio-economic constraints. In this context, the study intended to explore the factors constraining the implementation of climate change adaptation strategies amongst commercial and subsistence farmers of the Local Municipality in the North West province, South Africa. An exploratory sequential mixed method design was used, allowing the utilisation of both qualitative and quantitative methods in a single study. A total of 50 farmers (25 farmers from each group) were identified through purposive homogeneous sampling and were given a questionnaire consisting of semi-structured and structured questions. The study established that some of the most prominent factors constraining adaptation amongst farmers in the Local Municipality are related to their physical environment, lack of market access, financial constraints and limited access to established social networks (such as farmers associations). Identifying barriers to adaptation through area-specific research or studies, such as this particular study, is crucial for the development of holistic climate change adaptation strategies that will allow sustainability in diverse agricultural systems.

Keywords

agricultural adaptation strategies; climate change adaptation; coping capacity; disaster risk reduction; resilience; sustainable agriculture; vulnerability

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