Smallholder Farmers’ Perception of Climate Risks at Municipality Level in South Africa

Zuma-Netshiukhwi G. *

Agricultural Research Council, Natural Resources and Engineering, Glen College of Agriculture, Glen, 9360, South Africa.

Mathye M. C.

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, 20 Steve Biko Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa.

Padi N. A.

Free State Premiers Offices OR Tambo House, Cnr Markgraaf and St Andrews Street Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa.

Khiba M. D.

Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Glen College of Agriculture, 9360, South Africa.

Seepamore M. K.

Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Glen College of Agriculture, 9360, South Africa.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


High dependence on rain-fed agriculture impose smallholder farmers to a plethora of climate risks which are detrimental to agroecosystems and socio-economic status. Assessment of the impact of climate variability and change at farm level is key to developing suitable agro-advisories toward mitigating climate risks. Smallholder farmers in the semi-arid areas of South Africa are most vulnerable to heightened sensitivity to extreme weather events and inadequate exposure to adaptive capacity. The increasing pressures brought in by weather events, soil degradation, loss of biodiversity, increasing population is threatening food security and sustainable livelihoods.  The study conducted a reconnaissance review with smallholder farmers from selected local municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provinces. The purpose for this analysis was to determine local climate related challenges, gaps, shocks and barriers.  The survey further, identified agricultural practices, climate risks, access to climate related advisories, access to other scientific knowledge and factors hindering sustainability, stability, and profitability. We further discussed the importance of drought in situ monitoring since drought was identified as the measure limiting factor to agricultural productivity. The existing challenge on the dissemination of scientific knowledge and the accessibility of agrometeorological application knowledge to smallholder farmers. Thus overcoming the constraints limiting the adoption of climate smart agriculture, weather and climate use, and minimise climatic risks and improve smallholder agricultural production.

Keywords: Smallholder farmers, climate variability and change, weather events, agroecosystems

How to Cite

Zuma-Netshiukhwi G., Mathye M. C., Padi N. A., Khiba M. D., & Seepamore M. K. (2023). Smallholder Farmers’ Perception of Climate Risks at Municipality Level in South Africa. Asian Journal of Advances in Agricultural Research, 23(3), 33–45.


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