American Journal of Rural Development
ISSN (Print): 2333-4762 ISSN (Online): 2333-4770 Website: Editor-in-chief: Chi-Ming Lai
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American Journal of Rural Development. 2017, 5(4), 110-116
DOI: 10.12691/ajrd-5-4-4
Open AccessArticle

Smallholder Farmers’ Perceptions and Responses to Climate Change in Multi-stressor Environments: The Case of Maasai Agro-pastoralists in Kenya’s Rangelands

Chemuliti Judith1, , Stephen G. Mbogoh2, Ackello-Ogutu Chris2 and Irungu Patrick2

1Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Kikuyu Kenya

2Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nairobi, Nairobi Kenya

Pub. Date: September 28, 2017

Cite this paper:
Chemuliti Judith, Stephen G. Mbogoh, Ackello-Ogutu Chris and Irungu Patrick. Smallholder Farmers’ Perceptions and Responses to Climate Change in Multi-stressor Environments: The Case of Maasai Agro-pastoralists in Kenya’s Rangelands. American Journal of Rural Development. 2017; 5(4):110-116. doi: 10.12691/ajrd-5-4-4


Farmers in Kenya’s rangelands have been responding to simultaneous multiple sources of change in their socioeconomic and environmental conditions for some time. Under such conditions, it is not clear how the increasing effects of climate change are being perceived and reacted to. This paper presents the results of a study that was carried out in the Trans Mara sub-County in the southern rangeland of Kenya to assess the farmers’ perceptions and adaptation to climate change and the constraints that they encountered. An open-ended questionnaire was used to collect data from 206 randomly selected farmers in Kilgoris and Lolgorien administrative Divisions of the sub-County. The results showed that the farmers had reasonable perceptions of climate variability and change and had taken steps to adjust their farming activities. These perceptions were based on their observed changes in rainfall pattern and intensity over the last couple of decades. Diversification of farm enterprises, changing of crop varieties, reducing flock sizes and changing of livestock breeds were the most common adaptation strategies. Lack of financial resources, insufficient labor and limited access to information were the major constraints that impeded adaptation. The results suggest that the farmers are able to discern and to some extent disaggregate the climate stimuli from other stressors. However, the adaptation strategies were closely intertwined with other stressors that go beyond the climate dimension.

farmers’ perceptions climate change climate adaptation Maasai agro-pastoralist Kenyan rangelands

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