Measuring Ethiopian farmers' vulnerability to climate change across regional states

This study analyzes the vulnerability of Ethiopian farmers to climate change based on the integrated vulnerability assessment approach using vulnerability indicators. The vulnerability indicators consist of the different socioeconomic and biophysical attributes of Ethiopia’s seven agriculture-based regional states. The different socioeconomic and biophysical indicators of each region collected have been classified into three classes, based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC 2001) definition of vulnerability, which consists of adaptive capacity, sensitivity, and exposure. The results indicate that the relatively least-developed, semiarid, and arid regions—namely, Afar and Somali—are highly vulnerable to climate change. The Oromia region—a wide region characterized both by areas of good agricultural production in the highlands and midlands and by recurrent droughts, especially in the lowlands—is also vulnerable. The Tigray region, which is characterized by recurrent drought, is also vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change in comparison with the other regions. Thus, investing in the development of the relatively underdeveloped regions of Somali and Afar, irrigation for regions with high potential, early warning systems to help farmers better cope in times of drought, and production of drought-tolerant varieties of crops and species of livestock can all reduce the vulnerability of Ethiopian farmers to climate change.

Author: 
Deressa, Temesgen
Hassan, Rashid M.
Ringler, Claudia
Published date: 
2008
Publisher: 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Series number: 
806
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