Factors that Influence Banana Farmers Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change in Meru County Kenya


  • David Karienye Department of Geography, Garissa University, P.O. Box 1801-70100, Garissa, Kenya
  • Hellen Kamiri School of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Karatina University, P.O. Box 1957-10101, Karatina, Kenya.
  • Gilbert Nduru School of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, Karatina University, P.O. Box 1957-10101, Karatina, Kenya




Adaptation strategies, Banana, climate change, socioe-conomics,


Food production among rural farmers globally has been threatened by climate change impacts leading to food scarcity. Small holder farmers face challenges in the choice of appropriate adaptive mechanisms when responding to the impacts associated with climate change. Several case studies have focused on adaptive strategies related to crop production with limited attention on the socioeconomic factors influencing adaptation strategies towards climate change with reference to specific crops. Thus, a study was carried out in Meru County, Kenya to evaluate the socio-economic factors that influence banana farmer’s adaptation strategies to climate change. The study site was in Imenti south sub-county which was purposively selected due to its long-term history of banana farming. Field survey techniques were used in the data collection where 251 banana farmers were sampled and data collected using open ended questionnaires and focus group discussions. Logit regression model was used to determine the socioeconomic factors influencing farmers’ choice of adaptation strategy to climate change. The study realized that irrigation and shifting planting dates were the most preferred adaptation strategies among small holder’s banana farmers at 84.9% and 4.8% respectively. Land acreage under banana production, age of the household head, access to extension services, access to financial facilities, agro ecological zone setting and perception to climate change were significant in explaining the farmers’ adaption of irrigation as a strategy. Further, provision of climate information to farmers will enhance promotion of crop diversification, adoption of drought tolerant banana varieties and shifting of planting dates thus enhancing resilience of farming systems in the short-term.


Bruin, K. (2011). An Economic Analysis of Adaptation to climate Change under Uncertainty. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, University of Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Bryan, E., Ringler, C., Okoba, B., Roncoli, C., Silvestri, S., & Herrero, M., (2013). Adapting agriculture to climate change in Kenya: Household strategies and determinants. J. Environ. Manage. 114: 26–35.

Deressa T., Hassan, C., Ringler, Tekie. A., & Mahmud, Y., (2009). Determinants of farmers’ choice of adaptation methods to climate change in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia. Global Environmental Change, 19: 248-255.

Di Falco, S., (2014). Adaptation to climate change in Sub-Saharan agriculture: Assessing the evidence and rethinking the drivers. Eur. Rev. Agric. Econ. 41 (3):405–430.

Di Falco, S., Veronesi, M., (2013) How can African agriculture adapt to climate change? A counterfactual analysis from Ethiopia. Land Econ. 89 (4):743–766.

Esham, M., and Garforth C., (2013). Agricultural adaptation to climate change: insights from a farming community in Sri Lanka. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change.;18(5): 535-549.

Gbetibouo, G., (2009). Understanding Farmers’ Perceptions and Adaptations to Climate Change and Variability: The Case of the Limpopo Basin, South Africa. IFPRI Discussion Paper, 36.

GOK, (2015). County statistical abstract, Meru County, KNBS Nairobi.

GOK, (2012). Ministry of Agriculture Validated Report 2012, Karuri Ventures, Nairobi.

GOK, (2009). Kenya Population and Housing Census (KPHC). Government of Kenya, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Nairobi, Kenya.

ILRI, (2007). Annual Report 2007 Markets that Work: Making a Living from Agriculture. International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya.

IFAD, (2010). Climate change impacts, South Asia, httP://www.ifad.org/ events/apr09/impact/seasia.pdf (last access: 21 June 2016).

IPCC, (2014). Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland.

IPCC, (2007). Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report Fourth (AR4) Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). M.L. Geneva.

Jaetzoid, R. et al (2006). Farm Management Handbook of Kenya Vol 2 Natural Conditions and Farm Management Information Part C, Eastern Province 2nd Ed, Ministry of Agriculture Publisher, Nairobi.

Kabubo-Mariara, J & Karanja, F., (2007). The economic impact of climate change on Kenyan crop agriculture: a Ricardian approach, Glob. Planet. Change 57 (3):319–330, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2007.01.002

Kamau, M., Olwande, J.. & Githuku J., (2011). Consumption and Expenditures on Key Food Commodities in Urban Households: The Case of Nairobi. Tegemeo Working Paper 41. Nairobi; Tegemeo Institute, Egerton University.

Kelvin, M., Leigh, W., Jennifer, T., Anton, E., Juan G., Mwongera C., & Peter L., (2016). Smallholder farmers’ attitudes and determinants of adaptation to climate risks in East Africa, Journal of climate Risk Management 16:234–245 journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/ locate/crm

Lee, D., (2005). Agricultural sustainability and technology adoption: issues and policies for developing countries. Am. J. Agric. Econ. 87 (5):1325–1334.

Magombo, T., Kantlini, G., Phiri, G., Kachulu, M., & Kabuli, H. (2011). Incidence of Indigenous and Innovative Climate Change Adaptation Practices for Smallholder Farmers, Livelihoods Security in Chikhwawa District, Malawi. African Technology Policy Study Network, Research Paper No: 14.

Marenya, P., & Barrett, C., (2007). Household-level determinants of adoption of improved natural resources management practices among smallholder farmers in western Kenya. Food Policy 32: 515–536.

Micah, B., & Absalom, M., (2014). Factors Influencing the Choice of Climate Change Adaptation Strategies by Households: A Case of Mpolonjeni Area Development Programme (ADP) in Swaziland. Journal of Agricultural Studies ISSN 2166-0379 2014, Vol. 2, No. 1.

Nhemachena, C., & Hassan, R., (2008). Micro-level analysis of farmers’ adaptation to climate change in Southern Africa. IFPRI Discussion Paper No. 00714. International Food Policy Research Institute. Washington DC.

Shikuku, K., Winowiecki, L., Twyman, J., Eitzinger, A., Pérez J., Juan G., Mwongera, C., & Laderach, P., (2017). Smallholder farmers’ attitudes and determinants of adaptation to climate risks in East Africa. Climate Risk Management journal. 16:234-245. 10.1016/j.crm.2017.03.001

SPSS, I. (2012). IBM SPSS statistics version 21. Boston, Mass: International Business Machines Corp, 126.

Tachie-Obeng, E., Akponikpe, P., & Adiku, S., (2012). Considering effective adaptation options to impacts of climate change for maize production in Ghana. Environmental Development 5: 131–145 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envdev.2012.11.008.

UNFCCC, (2009). Report of the Conference of the Parties on its fifteenth session, held in Copenhagen from 7 to 19 December 2009; Part Two: Decisions Adopted by the Conference of the Parties.

Wik, M., Pingali, P., & Brocai, S, (2008). Global Agricultural Performance: Past Trends and Future Prospects. Washington, DC: World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/9122 accessed on 9th October 2018.

World Bank, (2010). The Economics of Climate Change. A Synthesis Report. Final Constitution Draft. EACC.

Yesuf, M., Falco, S., Deressa, T., Ringler, C., & Kohlin, G. (2008). The impact of climate change and adaptation on food production in low-income countries. Evidence from the Nile Basin, Ethiopia Intl Food Policy Res Inst.

Yirga, C., (2007). The dynamics of soil degradation and incentives for optimal management in Central Unpublished PhD Thesis (Environmental Economics), University of Pretoria.