Coconut Growers' Knowledge and Perceptions on Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies in Puttalam District of Sri Lanka

  • Ruvani Subhathma Wickramarathna Godage Coconut Research Institute
  • Bandara Gajanayake
Keywords: adaptation strategies, climate change, coconut growers’ knowledge, perceptions



At present climate changes and extreme weather events which are significantly affects the productivity of coconut in the major coconut growing areas in the country and ultimately it will threaten the livelihood of coconut cultivating community. The present study was undertaken to determine the coconut growers’ knowledge and perceptions about climate change and adaptation strategies. The study was conducted in Puttalam district which is more vulnerable to climate change impacts. The study sample comprised of 140 coconut growers. The study findings emphasized that notable fraction of growers have fairly high knowledge and perceptions about climate change and various impacts. Further, age, education and farming experience were found to be positively related and gender, land holding, family size, land ownership were negatively related with growers’ knowledge and perceptions.  Additionally, age, family size and education were found to be significantly related with growers’ knowledge and only the family size and education were found to be significantly related with growers’ perceptions. Moreover, growers’ knowledge was positively and significantly related with their perceptions and adaptation measures as well as perceptions also positively and significantly related with adaptation measures. Also, findings showed that significant importance to create extension and awareness campaigns to educate the coconut growers about climate change related risks and uncertainties and suitable adaptation strategies. Therefore, agriculture policy makers should more focus on mitigating impacts of climate change to enhance the sustainable coconut cultivation in the country with providing more information, financial supports and subsidies to growers to adopt suitable adaptation measures.  

Keywords: adaptation strategies, climate change, coconut growers’ knowledge, perceptions


1. Acquah, H. de-G., Nunoo, J. and Darfor, K. N. (2011). Farmers’ Perceptions and Adaptation to Climate Change: Evidence from Ghana. A book on “Africa and the challenges of the twenty-first century, Environment, Agriculture and cross-border migrations”. CODESRIA 13th General Assembly, Council for the Development of Social Science Research, Africa.3, 35-52.
2. Adger, W.N., Dessai, S., Goulden, M., Hulme, M., Lorenzoni, I., Nelson, D.R., Naess, L.O., Wolf, J. and Wreford, A. (2009). Are there social limits to adaptation to climate change?, Climate Change, 93,335-354
3. Akter, S. and Bennett, J. (2009). Household perceptions of Climate Change and Preferences for Mitigation Actions: the Case of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme in Australia. Environmental Economics Research Hub Research Report No. 19. Canberra, Australia: Australian National University. Available online at (verified 26 July 2010).
4. Central Bank Report of Sri Lanka (2016). Annual Report. Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Chapter 6 (2), 39-45.
5. Coconut Research Institute, CRI (2014 and 2015). Short Annual Report of CRI, Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka.
6. Department of Census and Statistics. (2002). Sri Lanka Census of Agriculture: Department of Census and Statistics, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
7. Dhanya, P. and Ramachandran, A. (2016). Farmers’ perceptions of climate change and the proposed agriculture adaptation strategies in a semi arid region of south India. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 13(1): 1–18
8. Economics and Social Statistics of Sri Lanka, Central Bank Report, 2019
9. Esham, M. and Garforth, C. (2013). Agricultural adaptation to climate change: insights from a farming community in Sri Lanka. An Int. J. Devoted to Scientific, Engineering, Socio-Economic and Policy Responses to Environmental Change 18 (5): 535-549.
10. Esham, M. and Garforth, C. (2013). Climate change and agricultural adaptation in Sri Lanka: A review. Clim. Dev. 5, 66–76.
11. FAO, (2010). Climate Smart Agriculture: Policies, practices and Financing for food security, Adaptation and Mitigation. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy.
12. Gbetibouo, G. A. (2009). Understanding farmers' perceptions and adaptations to climate change and variability. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Discussion Paper No. 849.
13. Goyal, R.K. (2004). Sensitivity of evapotranspiration to global warming, a case study of arid zone of Rajasthan (India). Division of Natural Resources and Environment, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Rajasthan, India.
14. Graft, H. and Onumah, E. (2011). Farmers’ perceptions and adaptations to climate change: An estimation of willingness to pay in western Ghana. Agris. 3(4):31–39.
15. Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (2007). ‘Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report.’
16. IPCC. (2007). Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In O. F. C. M.L. Parry, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. & Hanson (Eds.), (pp. 976).
17. Isham, J. (2002). The effect of social on fertilizer adoption: evidence from rural Tanzania. Journal of African Economies 11, 39-60.
18. Karunanayake, K. (1976). Coconut in the Economy of Sri Lanka: Swedish Agency for Research Corporation with Developing Countries (SAREC) and Marga Institute (Sri Lanka Center for Development Studies), Colombo.
19. Lobell, D. B., Field, C. B., Cahill, K. N. and Bonfils, C. (2006). Impacts of future climate change on California perennial crop yields: Model projections with climate and crop uncertainties. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 141(2–4), 208-218. doi:
20. Lowe, T., Brown, K., Dessai, S., Franca Doria, M., Haynes, K. and Vincent, K. (2006). Does tomorrow ever come? Disaster narrative and public perceptions of climate change. Publ Understand Sci 15(4):435-457.
21. Maddison, D. (2006). Perception and adaptation to climate change in Africa. CEEPA. Discussion paper No.10. Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa. Pretoria, South Africa: University of Pretoria.
22. Peiris, T.S.G., Thattil, R.O. and Mahindapala, R. (1995). An analysis of the effect of climate and weather on coconut (Cocos nucifera). Exp. Agric. 31:451-460.
23. Peiris, T.S.G. and Thattil, R.O. (1998). The study of climate effects on the nut yield of coconut using parsimonious models. J. Exp. Agric. 34:189-206.
24. Peiris, T.S.G., Peiris, T.S.U. and Rajapaksha, S. (2000). Prediction of annual national coconut production- a stochastic approach. J. Appl. Stat Sri Lanka 1:25-32.
25. Raghuvanshi, Rupan, Ansari M.A., et al. (2017). A study of farmers’ awareness about climate change and adaptation practices in India. International Journal of Applied Agriculture Research. 3(6):154–160.
26. Ranasinghe, S. (2012). Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Coconut, CLIMATEnet Blog, Climate Policy Network of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS)
27. Sampei, Y. and Aoyagi-Usui, M. (2009). Mass media coverage, its influence on public awareness of climate-change issues, and implications for Japan’s national campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Global Environmental Change 19, 203-212.
28. Somasiri, L.L.W., Nadarajah, N., Amarasinghe, L. and Gunathilake, H.A.J. (1994). Land suitability assessment of coconut growing area in the coconut triangle. Occasional Publication Series 3, CRI, Lunuwila.
29. Wijerathne, M.A., Anandacoomaraswamy, a. Amarathunga, M.K.S.L.D., Janaka Ratnasiri, Basnayaka, B.R.S.B. and Kalra, N. (2007). Assessment of impact of climate change on productivity of tea plantations in Sri Lanka. National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka.
30. Yearley, S. (2000). Making systematic sense of public discontents with expert knowledge: two analytical approaches and a case study. Publ. Understand Sci. 9:105-122.
How to Cite
Wickramarathna Godage, R. S., & Gajanayake, B. (2022). Coconut Growers’ Knowledge and Perceptions on Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies in Puttalam District of Sri Lanka. CORD, 38, 19-31.