Original Research

Vulnerability of smallholder sorghum farmers to climate variability in a heterogeneous landscape of south-western Uganda

Frank Mugagga, Noeline Nakanjakko, Bob Nakileza, Denis Nseka
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 12, No 1 | a849 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v12i1.849 | © 2020 Frank Mugagga, Noeline Nakanjakko, Bob Nakileza, Denis Nseka | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 May 2019 | Published: 30 April 2020

About the author(s)

Frank Mugagga, Department of Geography, Geo-Informatics and Climatic Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Noeline Nakanjakko, Department of Geography, Geo-Informatics and Climatic Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Bob Nakileza, Department of Environmental Management, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Denis Nseka, Department of Geography, Geo-Informatics and Climatic Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda


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Abstract

Smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are at a greater risk to the impacts of climate variability. We therefore sought to assess vulnerability of smallholder sorghum farmers to climate variability in Kigezi highlands of south-western Uganda. A vulnerability index that integrates selected socio-economic and biophysical variables was obtained through key informant interviews and household surveys, from 230 conveniently sampled sorghum farming households within three sub-counties differentiated by altitude. Rainfall data were obtained from Uganda National Meteorological Authority. Quantitative data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (version 23) and STATA software to generate inferential and descriptive statistics, notably frequencies, percentages and chi-square tests, to establish relationship between variables. Content analysis was used to generate themes emerging from the qualitative data. The overall vulnerability index results indicate Kashambya as the most vulnerable (6.9), followed by Bubare (1.8), while Kamwezi was the least vulnerable (–0.2). This study recommends targeted extension services such as access to customised weather information and better agronomic practices to reduce smallholder sorghum farmers’ vulnerability.

Keywords

Climate variability; altitudinal variations; Kigezi highlands; targeted interventions; vulnerability index

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