Climate Change Awareness Among Farmers in The Lowveld Areas of Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
Climate change has been acknowledged to have a negative impact on agriculture, posing a serious threat to rural households` food security and livelihoods. Climate change awareness therefore needs to be mobilized in order to facilitate mitigation and adaptation strategies. This study determines factors influencing climate change awareness among farmers in the Lowveld areas of Mpumalanga province of South Africa. Using a logistic regression model, we analyzed data collected from 351 randomly selected respondents. About 76.4% of the respondents indicated that they are aware of climate change while 23.6% showed that they were not aware of this phenomenon. The findings revealed that a significant relationship exists between socio-economic characteristics of the farmers and their level of awareness to climate change.These variables include age of the respondents, land tenure system, who manages the farm and who owns the farm.The study concluded that change in climate was already perceived by the farmers and it is now affecting all areas of their lives from production to livelihood and food security. It is therefore recommended that farmers’ perceptions on climate change should be considered when programs on agricultural production are planned and implemented.
Keywords - Climate change; awareness; perceived effects; agricultural production; Lowveld; Mpumalanga Province; South Africa