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Traditional farmers' coping mechanisms with rainfall variability in semi-arid lands: A study from Sudan

Author: 
Ahmed H. I. Elfaig, Eltyeb Wadi, Omer Egemi, Hamid H. Ibrahim and Ali M. Eisa
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

This study conducted in the semi-arid lands of central Sudan, aimed at investigating and analyzing the coping mechanisms that have been adopted by the traditional farmers on the main staple food (sorghum and millet) to cope with rainfall variability. Primary and secondary sources were used in the study. Five hundred (500) headed households were randomly selected from eight sample sites and questionnaire interviews were conducted focusing on the adopted coping mechanisms. Coefficient of variation and descriptive analytical methods were used in the data analysis. The results showed medium coefficient of variation for rainfall ranges (0.3 to 0.37) for the period 1972 to 2013. Similarly, high coefficient of variation for sorghum and millet production ranges (0.61 to 0.92) was found. A significant relationship between education and intercropping (P ≤ 0.05) and between education and Ramil mechanism (P ≤ 0.01) was found. The results showed that the coping mechanisms were adopted with no regards to the demographic variables. The efficiency and productivity of these mechanisms was found to be low except for the shift to quick maturing varieties under existing rainfall variability and crop's production uncertainty which represents the major constraints for the resilience of local communities.

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