Strategies for Climate-Change Resilience Among Maize Farmers in Lesotho
Keywords:Food Security, Climate-Smart Agriculture, Likoti, Machobane
Maize is a staple crop in Lesotho; hence, it can be vital in improving food security and strengthening the economy. However, climate change necessitates the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices in the growing of maize. It is assumed that small-scale maize farmers lack awareness of climate change and mitigation strategies. This hypothesis has not yet been assessed in Lesotho, especially in the study area; hence, this study is conducted to evaluate it. One hundred small-scale maize farmers from Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek Districts were selected to participate in the study. The data was collected using a structured questionnaire. The results show that small-scale maize farming in Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek is dominated by older women (54%) who are within the age group 56 to 65 years (32%) with a low level of formal education (33%). 70% of farmers have been in farming for more than 20 years. Most (70%) of farmers indicated that their maize production is negatively affected by climate change, and 51.7% of farmers experienced poor yield, maize quality, and rainfall. This has led to food insecurity (44%). Therefore, 89% of farmers want to increase fertiliser use to maximise production and improve food security. 37% of farmers desire to switch to CSA, and the majority (83%) intend to adopt CA systems to mitigate climate change. Further studies are recommended to identify LikotiLikoti’s system’s ability to boost agricultural yields and increase food production, combat soil erosion, and enhance fertility and to assess if Machobane system - Mantsa Tlala, or “expeller of hunger leads to a rise in per capita food production and overall land productivity.
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