Remember Me
Or use your Academic/Social account:


Or use your Academic/Social account:


You have just completed your registration at OpenAire.

Before you can login to the site, you will need to activate your account. An e-mail will be sent to you with the proper instructions.


Please note that this site is currently undergoing Beta testing.
Any new content you create is not guaranteed to be present to the final version of the site upon release.

Thank you for your patience,
OpenAire Dev Team.

Close This Message


Verify Password:
Verify E-mail:
*All Fields Are Required.
Please Verify You Are Human:
fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Sutcliffe, Chloe; Dougill, Andrew J.; Quinn, Claire H. (2015)
Publisher: Springer Nature
Journal: Regional Environmental Change
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Global and Planetary Change
Getting farmers to adopt new cultivars with greater tolerance for coping with climatic extremes and variability is considered as one way of adapting agricultural production to climate change. However, for successful adaptation to occur, an accurate recognition and understanding of the climate signal by key stakeholders (farmers, seed suppliers and agricultural extension services) is an essential precursor. This paper presents evidence based on fieldwork with smallholder maize producers and national seed network stakeholders in Malawi from 2010 to 2011, assessing understandings of rainfall changes and decision-making about maize cultivar choices. Our findings show that preferences for short-season maize cultivars are increasing based on perceptions that season lengths are growing shorter due to climate change and the assumption that growing shorter-season crops represents a good strategy for adapting to drought. However, meteorological records for the two study areas present no evidence for shortening seasons (or any significant change to rainfall characteristics), suggesting that short-season cultivars may not be the most suitable adaptation option for these areas. This demonstrates the dangers of oversimplified climate information in guiding changes in farmer decision-making about cultivar choice.
  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • Abson DJ, Dougill AJ, Stringer LC (2012) Using principal component analysis for information-rich socio-ecological vulnerability mapping in Southern Africa. Appl Geogr 35:515-524
    • Adger WN, Dessai S, Goulden M, Hulme M, Lorenzoni I, Nelson DR, Naess LO, Wolf J, Wreford A (2009) Are there social limits to adaptation to climate change? Clim Change 93:335-354
    • Allcock L, Kainja J (2011) Reimagining 21st century development in Malawi: generating and sharing knowledge beyond the traditional development establishment. IDS Bull 42:99-103
    • Allen PJ, Bennett K (2010) PASW statistics by SPSS: a practical guide: version 18.0. Cengage Learning, South Melbourne
    • Berg L, Lune H (2014) Qualitative research methods for the social sciences. Pearson, Harlow
    • Brooks S, Thompson J, Odame H, Kibaara B, Nderitu S, Karin F, Millstone E (2009) Environmental change and maize innovation in Kenya: exploring pathways in and out of maize, STEPS Working Paper 36, STEPS Centre, Brighton
    • Bryceson DF (2006) Ganyu casual labour, famine and HIV/AIDS in rural Malawi: causality and casualty. J Mod Afr Stud 44:173-202
    • Cairns JE, Hellin J, Sonder K, Araus JL, Macrobert JF, Thierfelder C, Prasanna BM (2013) Adapting maize production to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. Food Secur 5:345-360
    • Calzadilla A, Rehdanz K, Betts R, Falloon P, Wiltshire A, Tol RSJ (2013) Climate change impacts on global agriculture. Clim Change 120:357-374
    • Challinor A, Wheeler T, Garforth C, Craufurd P, Kassam A (2007) Assessing the vulnerability of food crop systems in Africa to climate change. Clim Change 83:381-399
    • Challinor AJ, Watson J, Lobell DB, Howden SM, Smith DR, Chhetri N (2014) A meta-analysis of crop yield under climate change and adaptation. Nat Clim Change 4:287-291
    • Chidanti-Malunga J (2011) Adaptive strategies to climate change in Southern Malawi. Phys Chem Earth 36:1043-1046
    • Chinsinga B (2011) Seeds and subsidies: the political economy of input programmes in Malawi. IDS Bull 42:59-68
    • Christensen JH, Krishna Kumar K, Aldrian E, An S-I, Cavalcanti IFA, De Castro M, Dong W, Goswami P, Hall A, Kanyanga JK, Kitoh A, Kossin J, Lau N-C, Renwick J, Stephen DB, Xie S-P, Zhou T (2013) Climate phenomena and their relevance for future regional climate change. In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner G-K, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM (eds) Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
    • Cooper P, Cappiello SF (2012) Case studies: the large-scale implementation of adaptation and mitigation actions in the agriculture and food sector. Draft for discussion, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security
    • Cooper PJM, Dimes J, Rao KPC, Shapiro B, Shiferaw B, Twomlow S (2008) Coping better with current climatic variability in the rainfed farming systems of sub-Saharan Africa: An essential first step in adapting to future climate change? Agric Ecosyst Environ 126:24-35
    • Davies R, Midgley S (2010) Risk and vulnerability mapping in Southern Africa: a hotspot analysis. OneWorld Sustainable Investments (Pty) Ltd, Cape Town
    • Davis C (2011) Climate risk and vulnerability: a handbook for Southern Africa. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria 25
    • Dessai S, Adger WN, Hulme M, Turnpenny J, Kohler J, Warren R (2004) Defining and experiencing dangerous climate change-an editorial essay. Clim Change 64:11-25
    • Devereux S (2002) The Malawi famine 2002. IDS Bull 33:70-78
    • Devereux S, Baulch B, Phiri A, Sabates-Wheeler R (2006) Vulnerability to chronic poverty and malnutrition in Malawi: a report to DFID Malawi, Lilongwe, Malawi
    • Fairhead J, Leach M (1996) Misreading the African landscape: society and ecology in a forest-savanna mosaic. Cambridge University Press
    • Frankenburger T, Luther K, Fox K, Mazzeo J (2003) Livelihood erosion through time: Macro and micro factors that influenced livelihood trends in Malawi over the last 30 years. CARE Southern and Western Africa Regional Management Unit (SWARMU)
    • Gibbs GR (2002) Qualitative data analysis: explorations with NVivo. Open University
    • Glantz MH, Katz RW (1977) When is a drought a drought? Nature 267(5608):192-193. doi:10.1038/267192a0
    • Government of Malawi (2007) Kasungu District: socioeconomic profile, Kasungu, Malawi
    • Harrigan J (2003) U-turns and full circles: two decades of agricultural reform in Malawi 1981-2000. World Dev 31:847-863
    • Heisey PW, Smale M (1995) Maize technology in Malawi: A green revolution in the making? CIMMYT, Mexico, DF
    • Hemming D (2008) AATF to develop drought-tolerant maize for Africa. Outlook Agric 37:145-146
    • IPCC (2014) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
    • Jones L, Boyd E (2011) Exploring social barriers to adaptation: insights from Western Nepal. Glob Environ Change Hum Policy Dimens 21:1262-1274
    • Jones PG, Thornton PK (1997) Spatial and temporal variability of rainfall related to a third-order Markov model. Agric For Meteorol 86:127-138
    • Kamkwamba W, Mealer B (2009) The boy who harnessed the wind. Harper Collins, London
    • Madziakapita A (2008) An evaluation of the impact of food aid on food security: the case of Ngabu Area in Malawi. ethesis, Department of Development Studies, University of South Africa
    • Mafongoya PL, Bationo A, Kihara J, Waswa BS (2006) Appropriate technologies to replenish soil fertility in southern Africa. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 76:137-151
    • Magorokosho C (2006) Genetic diversity and performance of maize varieties from Zimbabwe. Texas A&M University, Zambia
    • Mandala EC (2005) The end of chidyerano. Heinemann, Portsmouth
    • McCann JC (2011) The political ecology of cereal seed development in Africa: a history of selection. IDS Bulletin 42(4):24-35. doi:10.1111/j.1759-5436.2011.00233.x
    • McSweeney C, New M, Lizcano G (2012) UNDP climate change country profiles: Malawi. http://country-profiles.geog.ox.ac.uk/. Accessed 10 May 2014
    • Mertz O, Mbow C, Reenberg A, Diouf A (2009) Farmers' perceptions of climate change and agricultural adaptation strategies in rural Sahel. Environ Manage 43:804-816
    • Meze-Hausken E (2004) Contrasting climate variability and meteorological drought with perceived drought and climate change in northern Ethiopia. Clim Res 27:19-31
    • Moser SC, Ekstrom JA (2010) A framework to diagnose barriers to climate change adaptation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:22026-22031
    • Osbahr H, Dorward P, Stern R, Cooper S (2011) Supporting agricultural innovation in Uganda to respond to climate risk: linking climate change and variability with farmer perceptions. Exp Agric 47:293-316
    • Ovuka M, Lindqvist S (2000) Rainfall variability in Murang'a District, Kenya: meteorological data and farmers' perception. Geografiska Annaler Ser A Phys Geogr 82A:107-119
    • Patt AG, Schroter D (2008) Perceptions of climate risk in Mozambique: implications for the success of adaptation strategies. Glob Environ Change Hum Policy Dimens 18:458-467
    • Phiri IMG, Saka AR (2008) The impact of changing environmental conditions on vulnerable communities in the Shire Valley, Southern Malawi. In: Lee C, Schaaf T (eds) Future of drylands. Springer, Dordrecht
    • Prowse M (2009) Becoming a bwana and burley tobacco in the Central Region of Malawi. J Mod Afr Stud 47:575-602
    • Rao KPC, Ndegwa WG, Kizito K, Oyoo A (2011) Climate variability and change: farmer perceptions and understanding of intraseasonal variability in rainfall and associated risk in semi-arid Kenya. Exp Agric 47:267-291
    • Rickards L, Howden SM (2012) Transformational adaptation: agriculture and climate change. Crop Pasture Sci 63:240-250
    • Sanchez PA (2002) Ecology-soil fertility and hunger in Africa. Science 295:2019-2020
    • Scoones I, Thompson J (2011) The politics of seed in Africa's green revolution: alternative narratives and competing pathways. IDS Bull 42:1-23
    • Shiferaw B, Prasanna BM, Hellin J, Banziger M (2011) Crops that feed the world 6. Past successes and future challenges to the role played by maize in global food security. Food Secur 3:307-327
    • Silvestri S, Bryan E, Ringler C, Herrero M, Okoba B (2012) Climate change perception and adaptation of agro-pastoral communities in Kenya. Reg Environ Change 12(4):791-802. doi:10.1007/ s10113-012-0293-6
    • Simelton E, Quinn CH, Batisani N, Dougill AJ, Dyer JC, Fraser EDG, Mkwambisi D, Sallu S, Stringer LC (2013) Is rainfall really changing? Farmers' perceptions, meteorological data, and policy implications. Clim Dev 5:123-138
    • Smale M (1995) Maize is life-Malawi delayed green-revolution. World Dev 23:819-831
    • Tadross M, Suarez P, Lotsch A, Hachigonta S, Mdoka M, Unganai L, Lucio F, Kamdonyo D, Muchinda M (2007) Changes in growing-season rainfall characteristics and downscaled scenarios of change over southern Africa: implications for growing maize. IPCC regional Expert Meeting on Regional Impacts, Adaptation, Vulnerability, and Mitigation, Nadi, Fiji
    • Toenniessen G, Adesina A, Devries J (2008) Building an alliance for a green revolution in Africa. Reducing Impact Poverty Health Hum Dev Sci Approaches 1136:233-242
    • Tripp R, Rohrbach D (2001) Policies for African seed enterprise development. Food Policy 26(2):147-161. doi:10.1016/s0306- 9192(00)00042-7
    • Wang YM, Namaona W, Traore S, Zhang ZC (2009) Seasonal temperature-based models for reference evapotranspiration estimation under semi-arid condition of Malawi. Afr J Agric Res 4:878-886
    • Whitfield S, Kristjanson P (2014) Envisaging change in maize farming: the push and pull factors. Climate Change and Social Learning Brief No 4. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Copenhagen, Denmark
    • Yaro JA (2013) The perception of and adaptation to climate variability/change in Ghana by small-scale and commercial farmers. Reg Environ Change 13(6):1259-1272. doi:10.1007/ s10113-013-0443-5
    • Yuksel N (2008) Achieving a uniquely African green revolution. http://www.future-agricultures.org. Accessed 23 July 2015
    • Zampaligre N, Dossa LH, Schlecht E (2014) Climate change and variability: perception and adaptation strategies of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists across different zones of Burkina Faso. Reg Environ Change 14:769-783
  • No related research data.
  • No similar publications.

Share - Bookmark

Cite this article