Aims: The study assesses the resilience of smallholders against future climatic shocks, through the identification of different clusters of smallholders, and their awareness and behavior about climate change.
Study Design: The study has used a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods.
Place and Duration of Study: The field part of the study took place during the months April – August 2010, while the data entry and statistical analysis were realized in the following months.
Methodology: The field work begun in April 2010 with visits to the area, focus groups and semi-structured interviews with farmers and key witnesses; six communities in two provinces were selected; in each community, 20 farmers were chosen, for a total of 120 interviews; a first questionnaire was validated through nine interviews; the improved version, with 80 questions, was submitted during July and August 2010, but only 28 questions have been retained for this study, being the other 62 of extremely technical nature; digital codification and data entry took place in September – October 2010; statistical analysis was realized with SAS version 9.1 in the following months.
Results: Landholding size averages only 0.27 hectares, ranging from 0.04 to 1.6; 85.8% of respondents had some education, 67.5 access to water and sanitation; 51.67 do not implement any soil protection practice; 88.33% however apply some crop rotation and 87.29 follow a sowing plan. 58.33% sell to the same processing firm, but 69.17% have no certification. 63.33% have access to credit, and 55.83% to some advice. Latent Class Analysis has been implemented twice: the first one has defined two clusters along human capital and the second one three clusters along climate change perceptions. In the first case, the groups are defined Small Unskilled (77.18%) and Medium Skilled (22.82%); in the second case the groups are defined Medium Resilient Aware (68,5%), Medium Adaptive Aware (21.74%) and Small Vulnerable Unaware (9.74%).
Conclusion: Even within a seemingly quite homogeneous society, there are diverse clusters of farmers, with different assets, behaviors, agronomic management and relationships to the market. The better off, in terms of land size, human capital and income, perceive the climate change and its connected risks more than the very small ones, who manage tiny parcels and have very limited contacts with the market and extension/training. In all cases, to increase resilience and to prevent further degradation of the natural resources, a combination of public and private interventions are needed.