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Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies

On-line version ISSN 1996-1421
Print version ISSN 2072-845X


MATIMOLANE, Selelo; CHIKOORE, Hector; MATHIVHA, Fhumulani I.  and  KORI, Edmore. Maize producers' vulnerability to climate change: Evidence from Makhuduthamaga Local Municipality, South Africa. Jàmbá [online]. 2022, vol.14, n.1, pp.1-10. ISSN 1996-1421.

Climate change is predicted to impact agricultural production and affect food security in poor communities of developing countries due to the likely negative impacts on rainfall characteristics. South Africa is one of the largest producers of maize crops in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The majority of crop production is rainfed with precipitation received during the summer growing season. This study evaluated the impact of climate change on maize yields using trend and multiple regression analysis in northern South Africa. Exposure and vulnerability of maize farmers to the impacts of climate change were also evaluated. Rainfall characteristics showed variability of 20.35% with rain days standard deviation of 10.25 days and coefficient of variation of 18.57%. The results revealed a weak relationship between annual rainfall and rainy days, and annual rainfall and maize yields, both showed an r2 and p-values of less than 0.5 and 0.005, respectively. The study found that variations in rainfall did not significantly influence variation in maize yields. Despite a clear fluctuation in yields, the results demonstrate a rising trend that can be attributed to agricultural practices such as the use of fertilisers and planting drought resistant cultivars as opposed to climate variables. The study further found that maize producers were proactively adapting to climate change, thus, reducing their vulnerability to its impacts.

Keywords : adaptation; climate change; maize yields; rain days; rainfall; temperature; trends; vulnerability.

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