Original Research

Perception of agricultural drought resilience in South Africa: A case of smallholder livestock farmers

Yonas T. Bahta
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 13, No 1 | a984 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v13i1.984 | © 2021 Yonas T. Bahta | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 May 2020 | Published: 22 June 2021

About the author(s)

Yonas T. Bahta, Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Worldwide drought has significance and continues to pose long-lasting effects on the agricultural sector, including South Africa. The recurring drought is a major challenge to smallholder livestock farmers in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. This study assesses the perception of smallholder livestock farmers towards agricultural drought resilience. The study utilised a perception index score using primary data collected from 207 smallholder livestock farmers following a structured questionnaire survey and multistage sampling procedures. The study found that the average perception index of the role of social networks and government to enhance agricultural drought resilience was negative, which implied that their role in enhancing resilience towards agricultural drought was insufficient. However, the perception of smallholder livestock farmers on the role of social networks was lower than the role of government. This study recommends coordination and cooperation amongst all role players to reinforce strategies to enhance smallholder livestock farmers’ resilience. This includes coordinator amongst the local, provincial government, African Farmers’ Association of South Africa, extension officers, private sectors, monitoring agencies in terms of reliable early warning information and communication amongst decision-makers. Collaboration amongst government departments at the national and provincial levels should be strengthening to enhance farmer’s resilience. The collaboration includes the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries at the national level, Provincial Departments of Agriculture, National and Provincial Disaster Management Centres, South African Weather Service and Department of Water Affairs. Smallholder livestock farmers’ awareness of the significance of social networking and government participation should be promoted.

Keywords

agricultural drought; government; resilience; smallholder livestock farmers; social networks.

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