Table 3. Summary of adaptation characteristics across the study areas.

Livelihood adaptations
by theme
Respondents by area
Percentage of n (number of sample)
1 (n=30) 2 (n=30) 3 (n=30) 4 (n=31)
Changes to agricultural practice 27 (8)
Individual agricultural
fodder storage,
using landscape diversity, traditional knowledge
97 (29)
Structured agricultural experimentation (within farming association)
40 (12)
Structured agricultural experimentation, conserving resources, regulating/branding livestock
68 (21)
Individual agricultural experimentation, planting trees, using landscape diversity
Changes in use of social capital 54 (16)
Investment in support networks,
exploiting matrilineal ties, building exclusive networks by neighborhood
97 (29)
Investment in support networks, increasing participation in exclusive networks by type, publicly promoting social cohesion
83 (25)
Building of male maize cooperative, investing in women’s groups, investing in political networks, Investment in local support networks
84 (26)
Building of agricultural cooperatives, evolved traditional noncash exchange mechanisms, interactions between traditional leaders and local administration
Commercializing livelihoods 23 (7)
Investment in poultry, livestock
70 (21)
Investment in poultry, livestock, collective attempt to buy game farm
53 (16)
Women’s horticultural collectives, some livestock investment
16 (5)
Some investment in horticulture, cashew trees and livestock
Changing off-farm roles 37 (11)
Regular migrant work to mines and cities (Zeerust, Mafiking or Gaborone, Gauteng, Johannesburg, Rustenburg)
87 (26)
Regular migrant work and long-term jobs (Dzanani, Thohanyandou, Makahado, Musina, Gauteng)
43 (13)
Regular migrant work (Ladysmith, Durban, Johannesburg)
35 (11)
Regular migrant work and long-term migrant jobs (Manjacaze, Xai-Xai, Maputo, South Africa)

Households perform more than one type of coping response.
Note: Data collected over the 2002-4 agricultural seasons and responses recalled by interviewees for the 10 year period prior to the fieldwork