1.1 meteorological centers, formal and informal institutions,

1.1      Determinants of Adaptation Strategies to ClimateChangeAccordingto Yesuf et al. (2008) farmers’ adaptation of climate change adaptationstrategies is influenced by frequent and more accurate climate information frommeteorological centers, formal  and  informal institutions,  access  to credit  and  extension information,  amount  of seasonal rainfall, geographical location,household size, age and literacy of household head.

Nhemachena and Hassan(2007) found that markets, access to electricity and technology, landownership  and  sex of  the  household head  significantly  influence household  choice  when adapting to  climate  change while  Gbetibouo  (2009) cited  poverty,  lack of  secure  property rights,  lack of  savings,  farm size,  lack  of technical  skills  and off-farm  employment  as additional barriers to adoption of climatechange adaptation strategies. Deressa et al. (2008) urged that livestockownership, local temperatures and amount of precipitation also determines thechoice of households when adapting to climate change.1.2       Climatechange observations in Ethiopia Accordingto UNDP Climate Change Profile for Ethiopia, the mean annual temperature inEthiopia has increased by 1.30c between 1960 and 2006, at an averagerate of 0.280c per decade. The temperature increase has been most rapidfrom July to September (0.

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320c per decade). The rate of  increase is  seen  most strongly in June, July and August. Overthe same period, the average number of cold days and nights decreased by 21(5.8% of days) and 41 (11.2% of nights), respectively. These reductions havemainly occurred in the months of September to November (McSweeney et al.,2008).  According  to National  Meteorology  Agency of  Ethiopia  (NMA, 2007),  Ethiopia experienced  10 wet  years  and 11  dry  years over  the  last  55  years, demonstrating  the strong  inter annual  variability.

  The wet  years  included 1958,  1961,  1964, 1967,  1968, 1977, 1993, 1996,1998 and 2006. Dry  years were 1952,1959, 1965, 1972, 1973, 1978, 1984, 1991, 1994, 1999, and 2000.1.3      Impact of Climate Change and variability inEthiopiaCurrently  climate change  and  variability is  already  impose significant  challenge  to Ethiopia by  affecting  food security, water and  energy supply,  health, poverty reduction and  sustainable development  efforts  (Abebe, 2007).  Furthermore,  extreme weather events,  such  as droughts,  floods,  or landslides,  may  cause death  to  domestic animals.

Livestock suffering and death often means that farmes wealth isdecreased and they lose much of their resources (Pettengell, 2010). The  adverse impact  of  climate change  are  not only  these  particularly climate change/variability also  has  significant impact  on  rain fed  agriculture  (IPCC, 2007). According to IFPRI (2009), agriculture is extremely vulnerable toclimate change. Higher temperatures eventually  reduce  yields of  desirable  crops while  encouraging  weed and pest proliferation.

Changes in precipitation patterns increase the  likelihood of  short run crop failures and long runproduction declines. Agricultureplays a dominant role in the economy of Ethiopia, contributing about half ofthe GDP, provides employment opportunity for majority of working force andgenerates considerable foreign exchange earnings (MoFED, 2006). Despite itshigh contribution to the overall economy, this sector is challenged by manyfactors, of which climate related disasters like drought and  flood (often causing  famine), are the  major ones (Temesgen, 2007).  As a result of this, the  country becomes  highly vulnerable to climate  change and variability.

Abate  (2009) argued  that,  climate change  affects  agriculture and  its  effect is pronounced  on  the subsistence  farmers,  which have  low  adaptive capacity.  Under  dryland conditions  where  the biological  productivity  is low  and  majority of  the  poor are found, climate change is manifested not only by increasingtemperature but  also throughchanges  in  hydrological cycles  characterized  by both  increased  droughts and  flooding (Thomas et al.,2007).  Generally,climate changes will most likely increase poverty in Ethiopia (Mideksa, 2010).Long term trends towards  reducedrainfall, and recurring droughts, have played a role in weakening of Ethiopianeconomy (USAID, 2004).1.

4      Impact of Climate Change and variability inEthiopiaCurrently  climate change  and  variability is  already  impose significant  challenge  to Ethiopia by  affecting  food security, water and  energy supply,  health, poverty reduction and  sustainable development  efforts  (Abebe, 2007).  Furthermore,  extreme weather events,  such  as droughts,  floods,  or landslides,  may  cause death  to  domestic animals. Livestock suffering and death often means that farmer?s wealthis decreased and they lose much of their resources (Pettengell, 2010). The  adverse impact  of  climate change  are  not only  these  particularly climate change/variability also  has  significant impact  on  rain fed  agriculture  (IPCC, 2007). According to IFPRI (2009), agriculture is extremely vulnerable toclimate change.

Higher temperatures eventually  reduce  yields of  desirable  crops while  encouraging  weed  andpest proliferation. Changes  inprecipitation patterns  increase the  likelihood of short run crop failures and long run production declines. The overallimpacts of climate change on agriculture are expected to be negative.Ithas been indicated that climate change and variability  could have  significant impact in Ethiopia  for various  reasons;  its economy  mainly  depends on  small  scale rain  fed agriculture, which isvery  sensitive to climate variation. Largepart of the country is arid and semiarid and is highly prone to desertificationand drought.  It has also a  fragile highland  ecosystem, which  is  currently under  stress  due to  population  pressure (NMA, 2001).  Abate  (2009) argued  that,  climate change  affects  agriculture and  its  effect is pronounced  on  the subsistence  farmers,  which have  low  adaptive capacity.Generally,climate changes will most likely increase poverty in Ethiopia (Mideksa, 2010).

Long term trends towards  reducedrainfall, and recurring droughts, have played a role in weakening of Ethiopianeconomy (USAID, 2004).1.5      Vulnerability of Farmers to Climate Change inEthiopiaClimate  related vulnerability  is  understood in  terms  of climate  change  exposure, sensitivity, and  adaptive capacity. Exposure  is defined by the  magnitude, character andrate of climate change in a given geographical area. Sensitivity to climatechange is the degree  to  which a  community  is adversely  or  beneficially affected  by  climate-related stimuli.   Sensitivity largely  depends  on the  main  livelihood activities  practiced  in  acommunity  (including  its dependence  on  livestock and  rain-fed  agriculture), and  the specific natural,physical, financial, human and social resources needed to carry out theseactivities,  as  well as  the  impacts of  climate  hazards on  these  key livelihood  resources.

The  adaptive capacity  of  a community  is  its ability  to  adjust to  climate  change, to moderate or cope with the impacts, and to take advantage of theopportunities that may arise with climate change.  Adaptive capacity  is often determined  by a range of factors, processes and structures such as income, literacy,institutional capacity, social networks, as well as access to information,markets, technology, and services (IPCC, 2007). Vulnerability  assessment carried  out  under NMA  (2007)  has indicated  that,  the most vulnerable  sectors  to climate  change  and variability  are  agriculture, water  and  human health. In terms of livelihoodapproach, smallholder rain-fed farmers and pastoralists are found to be themost vulnerable; and arid, semiarid and the dry sub-humid parts of the countryare affected most by drought.

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