Theme 5: Drought--Oral Sessions

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Farmers are crucial role-players in agriculture, especially in beef farming. Daily farm activities affect climate change, either negatively or positively. Therefore, farmers’ ability to relate climate change with farm activities is highly imperative. A study was conducted to investigate perceptions of Gauteng beef farmers on significance of practising climate smart agriculture (CSA). Semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted with 57 beef cattle farmers from three areas (Bronkhorstspruit, Rust de Winter and Cullinan) of Tshwane region (Gauteng province). A fully detailed ethical statement was used to explain the study and request farmers’ participation. Data analysis was done using a Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 20 with a significance of P < 0.05. Majority (71%) of farmers who participated were males. Most (43%) of participated farmers were middle age, which indicates that farmers are now considering beef farming as a full-time job. Majority (60%) of participants had access to enough land (> 700 hectares), which makes them suitable for practising CSA, provided they get appropriate training. Few participants showed good understanding of climate change (14%), global warming (14%), climate change reduction strategies (29%), cattle contribution to climate change (14%), adaptation strategies for climate change (29%) and the role played by CSA on reduction of farm operational costs (14%). Majority of farmers had average understanding of climate change (86%), global warming (86%), cattle contribution on global warming (71%), climate change adaptation strategies (71%), climate change reduction strategies (71%), recommendation of climate smart feed resource (71%) and impact of CSA on economic development (86%). Majority (71%) of participants identified water pollution as the only environmental hazard associated with beef farming, whereas few (29%) identified air pollution due to greenhouse gases emissions from poorly managed cattle manure. All participants (100%) showed good understanding regarding the benefits of practising CSA and its impact on food security. Furthermore, they were willing to adopt CSA and promote it to fellow farmers. There is a need for farmers’ training on CSA.

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Perceptions of Gauteng Beef Farmers on Significance of Practising Climate Smart Agriculture

Farmers are crucial role-players in agriculture, especially in beef farming. Daily farm activities affect climate change, either negatively or positively. Therefore, farmers’ ability to relate climate change with farm activities is highly imperative. A study was conducted to investigate perceptions of Gauteng beef farmers on significance of practising climate smart agriculture (CSA). Semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted with 57 beef cattle farmers from three areas (Bronkhorstspruit, Rust de Winter and Cullinan) of Tshwane region (Gauteng province). A fully detailed ethical statement was used to explain the study and request farmers’ participation. Data analysis was done using a Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 20 with a significance of P < 0.05. Majority (71%) of farmers who participated were males. Most (43%) of participated farmers were middle age, which indicates that farmers are now considering beef farming as a full-time job. Majority (60%) of participants had access to enough land (> 700 hectares), which makes them suitable for practising CSA, provided they get appropriate training. Few participants showed good understanding of climate change (14%), global warming (14%), climate change reduction strategies (29%), cattle contribution to climate change (14%), adaptation strategies for climate change (29%) and the role played by CSA on reduction of farm operational costs (14%). Majority of farmers had average understanding of climate change (86%), global warming (86%), cattle contribution on global warming (71%), climate change adaptation strategies (71%), climate change reduction strategies (71%), recommendation of climate smart feed resource (71%) and impact of CSA on economic development (86%). Majority (71%) of participants identified water pollution as the only environmental hazard associated with beef farming, whereas few (29%) identified air pollution due to greenhouse gases emissions from poorly managed cattle manure. All participants (100%) showed good understanding regarding the benefits of practising CSA and its impact on food security. Furthermore, they were willing to adopt CSA and promote it to fellow farmers. There is a need for farmers’ training on CSA.