Original Research

Small grain production as an adaptive strategy to climate change in Mangwe District, Matabeleland South in Zimbabwe

Tapiwa Muzerengi, Happy M. Tirivangasi
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 11, No 1 | a652 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v11i1.652 | © 2019 Tapiwa Muzerengi, Happy M. Tirivangasi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 March 2018 | Published: 23 October 2019

About the author(s)

Tapiwa Muzerengi, Department of Community Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Happy M. Tirivangasi, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Limpopo, Sovenga, South Africa


This article assesses the feasibility of small grains as an adaptive strategy to climate change in the Mangwe District in Zimbabwe. The change in climate has drastically affected rainfall patterns across the globe and in Zimbabwe in particular. Continuous prevalence of droughts in Zimbabwe, coupled with other economic calamities facing the Southern African country, has contributed to a larger extent to the reduction in grain production among communal farmers, most of whom are in semi-arid areas. This has caused a sudden increase in food shortages, particularly in the Mangwe District, as a result of erratic rainfall, which has negatively affected subsistence farming. This article was deeply rooted in qualitative research methodologies. Purposive sampling was used to sample the population. The researchers used key informant interviews, focus group discussions and secondary data to collect data. Data were analysed using INVIVO software, a data analysis tool that brings out themes. The results of the study are presented in the form of themes. The study established that small grains contributed significantly to addressing food shortages in the Mangwe District. The study results revealed that small grains were a reliable adaptive strategy to climate change as they increased food availability, accessibility, utilisation and stability. Despite the significant contribution of small grains to addressing food shortages, there is a need for the government to come up with a vibrant small grains policy, and government support that is visible as well as market creation for small grains. The study further recommends that small grains in semi-arid areas can be a panacea to food insecurity in Zimbabwe.


climate change; food security; accessibility; availability; utilisation; stability


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