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A Comparative Case of the Implications of Various Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh, India, South Africa, and Zimbabwe

Wisemen Chingombe, Happwell Musarandega


This article is a synthesis of literature on cross-country experiences on the strategies for adapting to climate change in Southeast Asia (Bangladesh and India) and Southern Africa (South Africa and Zimbabwe). The article shows that each selected country employs unique measures for adapting to climate change. In Bangladesh the specific strategies for adapting to climate change include the establishment of kinship and extended family ties to assist in difficult times.  Other strategies include diversification from the seasonal crop and perennial crop, provision of micro-finance, and adoption of non-farm income generating projects. The adaptation strategies in India include the establishment of farmer groups—examples of such groups are the self-help groups (SHG), the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGA), the Pradhan Mantri Gram Rojgaar Yojana (PMGRY), and Public Distribution System (PDS). In South Africa the adaptation measures include rationalising farm expenditure, changing of planting and harvesting dates, water conservation, planting drought-tolerant crops, and agricultural insurance. In Zimbabwe, farmers are adopting conservation agriculture, moving to regions with more rainfall, and investing in irrigation. The essential lessons for climate change adaptation from the countries studied showed that there is a need to rationalise farm inputs, adopt early maturing crop varieties, plant drought-tolerant crops, sound water management practices, and conserving the soil. Equally important is the need to conserve the water bodies, diversify effective weather forecasting, and use of early warning systems.


adaptation; climate change; impact; resilience; smallholder farmers; vulnerability

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