Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy in Malawi and accounts for more than 30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 90% of the export revenues. Maize is the major cereal crop grown as staple food under rain-fed conditions, covers over 80% of the total agricultural area, and contributes 54% of the caloric intake. Maize production is the principle occupation and major source of income for over 85% of the total population in Malawi. Hunger and food insecurity for the entire nation are associated with maize scarcity and low production. Climate change in Malawi, including changes in temperature and precipitation amounts and patterns are already a reality. These climatic changes are expected to affect maize crop production. This study examined the climate change adaptation strategies employed for sustained maize crop production among small-holder farmers in Balaka district. Specifically, the study sought to (i) identify the climate change adaptation strategies adopted by the small-holder farmers in relation to maize crop production; (ii) determine the factors that contribute to choice of particular climate change adaptation strategies and (iii) assess the effectiveness of the adopted climate change adaptation strategies for sustained maize crop production. The findings indicate that small-holder farmers realize that climate has changed, particularly rainfall patterns, therefore they employ a number of adaptation strategies. The adaptation strategies employed so far include practicing conservation agriculture, application of organic manure, box ridging and practicing mixed cropping. The choice of a particular or a mix of adaptation strategies depends mainly on the availability of the resources and labour needs for implementation. The most effective strategy so far implemented and seemed to bear the intended fruits is a combination of conservation agriculture and organic manure. However, very few farming households had adopted the strategies owing to several factors including resistance to change, labour intensiveness of some effective strategies and poor integration with livestock management. Small-holder farmers, therefore, need to be supported with extension services to embrace modern and climate smart agricultural practices to ensure food security.
SSA, R (2021). Climate Change Adaptation Strategies For Sustained Maize Crop Production Among Small-Holder Farmers In Balaka District, Malawi. Afribary.com: Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/climate-change-adaptation-strategies-for-sustained-maize-crop-production-among-small-holder-farmers-in-balaka-district-malawi
Research, SSA. "Climate Change Adaptation Strategies For Sustained Maize Crop Production Among Small-Holder Farmers In Balaka District, Malawi" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 25 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/climate-change-adaptation-strategies-for-sustained-maize-crop-production-among-small-holder-farmers-in-balaka-district-malawi . Accessed 13 May. 2021.
Research, SSA. "Climate Change Adaptation Strategies For Sustained Maize Crop Production Among Small-Holder Farmers In Balaka District, Malawi". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 25 Apr. 2021. Web. 13 May. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/climate-change-adaptation-strategies-for-sustained-maize-crop-production-among-small-holder-farmers-in-balaka-district-malawi >.
Research, SSA. "Climate Change Adaptation Strategies For Sustained Maize Crop Production Among Small-Holder Farmers In Balaka District, Malawi" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed May 13, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/climate-change-adaptation-strategies-for-sustained-maize-crop-production-among-small-holder-farmers-in-balaka-district-malawi