Influence of Literacy on the Smallholder Farmer’s Ability to Adapt to Drought in Pallisa District, Eastern Uganda
Amuge, Barbra Catherine
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Functional literacy if well-applied increases lifelong livelihood opportunities for the smallholder farmers faced with drought episodes. This study examined the influence of literacy on the smallholder farmer’s ability to adapt to drought. The social-economic data was collected and analysed using both multi-stage and cross-sectional sampling methods. A total sample of 153 smallholder farmers was randomly selected from Gogonyo, Kameke, Kamuge and Kasodo sub-counties and administered household questionnaires. The study results revealed that there was a very significant relationship between literacy (reading and writing) and adaptation to drought by the smallholder farmers (p<0.05). This was brought about by remarkable functional literacy players. The farmers recognised non-governmental organisations (65%) and farmer associations (20%) as the major contributors of their functional literacy levels followed by the government (15%) through extension programmes. Specifically, community public gathering including public announcements, farmer field schools with 70% and use of visual aids (posters) –(20%) were the major modes of adaptation content delivery to the smallholder farmers followed by the use of electronic media such as radios, television (6%) and use of public documents like newspapers and magazines with 4%. However, the shortfalls in the acquisition of literacy were largely caused by the farmer’s nonattendance to the schools and training, insufficient knowledge to comprehend, shortage of scholastic writing materials, trekking longer distances to educational centres and inadequate financial resources to meet their school requirements. Above all, the promotion of reading and writing literacy skills amongst the smallholder farmers is more likely to trigger, improve and lead to the introduction of adaptation innovations that are critical in improving the farmer’s resilience and livelihood status.
- Natural Sciences