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Abstract

In order to help poor, food insecure and female-headed farmers to build adaptation capacity to changing climatic conditions, it is essential to understand the current conditions of climate-related production shocks faced by small-scale farmers as well as to identify available adaptation strategies. This study of rural maize-legume farmers in Western and Eastern Kenya identified drought, flooding/excessive rain as well as crop pests and diseases as most frequent and important over the last 10 years and all farmers expect the frequency of these shocks to increase during the next 10 years. Although the majority of farmers applied adaptation strategies, a significant proportion of farmers did nothing. In addition, each type of shock calls for specific pattern of adaptation strategies. Replanting is found to be the most common and preferred adaptation strategy to cope with all three shock types and it is the single dominant strategy to cope with flooding/excessive rainfall. Additional common adaption strategies for drought includes sell assets, reduce consumption and borrow while additional crop pests/diseases adaptation strategies are sell assets, borrow and seek treatment. Standard and multivariate probit models identify and analyze determinants of adaptation action as well as choice of particular strategies for each type of climate-related production shocks for different groups of farmers.

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