Factors influencing the resilience of smallholder livestock farmers to agricultural drought in South Africa: implication for adaptive capabilities
Bahta, Yonas T.
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The aim of this study was to determine the factors that influence the resilience of smallholder farming households in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. This study utilised primary data collected from 207 smallholder livestock farmers and the probit model. The study contributes to the existing literature by constructing an agricultural drought resilience index (ADRI) as an outcome variable in order to determine the factors that influence the resilience of smallholder farmers to agricultural drought. The result revealed that only 9% of the smallholder livestock farmers were resilient to agricultural drought. Farming households with access to credit; farmers who received assistance from the government (such as training and feed) during drought and farmers who are part of a co-operative proved to be more resilient to agricultural drought. The policy implication of the findings of this study is for government and key role players in the industry to target disadvantaged smallholder farmers to build their resilience by enhancing their persistence and adaptability. Some of the assistance could be in the form of supplying fodder, strengthening access to agricultural credit and farm input, enhancing smallholder farmers’ involvement in agricultural drought resilience activities by giving training and disseminating information. Finally, yet importantly, there is a need to enhance the resilience of farmers by educating farmers about the importance of getting involved in cooperatives and social networks. Furthermore, the findings of this study will help policymakers and stakeholders to formulate strategies and policy interventions that will boost smallholder farmers’ resilience to agricultural drought.