The effect of drought risk perception on local people coping decisions in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia

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In an attempt to address the objectives of examining factors influencing smallholders' drought risk perception and coping to climate variability and change, this study utilized household level data collected from 384 households and employed Heckman selection model for its analysis. The study revealed that perceiving climate variability and change does not always guarantee coping and adaptation responses, particularly among the rural people who face more binding constraints that deter adaptation decisions. While educated farmers and those with strong social network are more likely to perceive climate variability and change, it is farmers with better access to weather forecast and extension services who are more likely to respond to the perceived change. Strategies targeted at enhancing smallholder adaptive capacity to the impacts of current and predicted climate change need to focus not only on creating awareness but also on improving enabling conditions through provision of tailored weather forecast and extension services as well as strengthening social network and rural infrastructure.

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