DROUGHT COPING STRATEGIES BY SMALLHOLDER CATTLE FARMERS IN ZIMBABWE

Soul Washaya, Prince Dieter Muchaurawa, Dorine Dorcas Washaya

Abstract


Background: The severity of drought in sub-Saharan Africa has led to crop failure and high mortalities of cattle. For decade’s drought-induced losses have been a persistent struggle for herded animals on rangelands. Persistent droughts have caused significant cattle losses, yet drought warning signs are not communicated in time to prepare farmers for adaptation and or mitigation. Objective: To analyse the adoption of drought coping strategies by smallholder beef farmers in Zaka District. Methodology: The sustainable livelihood framework guided the study in assessing the community adaptive strategies. Multi-stage cluster sampling method was employed and questionnaires were used to collect data. A chi-square test was used to evaluate the association between demographic characteristics and drought copping and mitigation strategies. A logit model and maximum likelihood estimation procedure was used to analyse the factors influencing adoption. Results: The results indicated that age and education status influenced (P < 0.05) drought copping strategies. Cattle disease and droughts were the major causes of cattle loses 38 and 35% respectively. Supplementary feeding, cattle disposal and lease grazing major were the adopted strategies. It was also found that farmer education level and access to agricultural training influenced adoption (P < 0.05). Cattle mortality, drought experience and crop losses are driving factors to adoption. Purchase of food items and its payment of medical bills are the major (P<0.05) reasons for selling beef cattle. Implications: Given the forecasts of future drought cycles, it is imperative that farmer’s establishment of drought feeding schemes, forage harvesting, investing in commercial protein supplements and communal breeding programs for drought-tolerant cattle be implemented. Conclusion: Cattle disposal, supplementary feeding and lease grazing are the adopted drought mitigatory strategies by beef communal farmers, yet these are only short term. Long term grazing strategies are recommended in order to reduce further cattle losses.

Keywords


adoption; cattle; drought; sustainable livelihood.

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URN: http://www.revista.ccba.uady.mx/urn:ISSN:1870-0462-tsaes.v25i2.37895



Copyright (c) 2022 Soul Washaya, Prince D Muchaurawa, Dorine D Washaya

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