Climate change and the livelihoods of food crop farmers in Lesotho: Lessons for the implementation of the national climate change adaptation strategy
Keywords:climate change, livelihoods, food crops, farmers, poverty, drought, Lesotho
The vast majority of Lesotho’s rural population is reliant on agriculture for survival. However, Lesotho, Southern Africa is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which has a negative impact on rural livelihoods. Furthermore, despite the fiscal challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lesotho’s National Climate Change Policy Implementation Strategy has been hampered by implementation issues and has yet to be implemented. This sparked the necessity for this research, which aims to inform the government of Lesotho on how farmers are combating climate change in their own tiny way. This study employs a survey to gather data from 200 farmers from farming villages across the country’s 10 regions. According to the findings of this study, farmers have experienced climate change in the areas of drying rivers, delayed on-set of rainfall, and excessive frost or cold. As a result of these events, farmers have experienced poorer agricultural yields, increased insect and disease attacks, and lower-than-normal harvests. The adaptation methods the farmers are using include the employment of indigenous technology for pest and disease control, fruit tree planting, conservation agriculture (water and soil conservation), and rainwater harvest storage for use during dry seasons. Some of these adaptation strategies are feared to cause further environmental challenges for Lesotho. Therefore, in order to enhance the lives of Lesotho’s farmers, the government of Lesotho should consider implementing the National Climate Change Policy Implementation Strategy.
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