RURAL COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS ON THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON SUBSISTENCE FARMING: MUTOKO COMMUNITY IN ZIMBABWE

Dyke Tayengwa, Happy Mathew Tirivangasi, Sejabaledi Agnes Rankoana

Abstract


The present study explores the impact of climate change on subsistence farming in Mutoko community, Zimbabwe. Mutoko is a rural community situated in the eastern part of Zimbabwe. Climate change is one of the biggest environmental challenges. Its impact is more intense in developing countries, particularly in rural communities which have become a major concern to the societal livelihood. The most affected people are the rural poor because they are highly dependent on climatic and environmental factors in addition to their greater reliance on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture and health, posing critical challenges for natural development. Focus group discussions were conducted to explore perceptions of climate change and its impacts on subsistence farming. The study reports community members’ awareness of changes in the local natural environment. The changes are increased temperature and scarcity of rain. Observable impacts of these changes are decreased crop yields because of drought. The findings are supported by observation that Zimbabwe lies in a semi-arid region with limited and unreliable rainfall patterns and temperature variations. Rainfall exhibits considerable spatial and temporal variability. It is concluded that the impact of climate change on subsistence farming is real and is negatively affecting food security in the study area.

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