Adaptation strategies to climate variability and climate change; Impacts on food security among smallholder farmers in Moshi Rural District, Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania: Perceptions, Capacities and Limitations of adaptive strategies


End date: 30 August, 2016 Project type: BSU Students' Master Thesis Project code: mbsu14-3M1 BSU Countries: Tanzania Lead institution: Aarhus University (AU), Denmark Project coordinator: Frida Goodluck Mndeme

Project summary

For the coming years, changes in temperature, carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, and precipitation under the climate change scenarios present a challenge to crop production globally. Tanzania like other African countries is and has been impacted by climate change (CC) and climate variability (CV) mainly on agriculture which is the main source of livelihood in rural areas, thus adaptation strategies on CC and CV are unavoidable among smallholder farmers. This study aimed at evaluating the implications of adaptation strategies to CC and CV on food security among smallholder farmers in Moshi rural district in Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania. The specific emphasis was on the understanding of farmers’ perceptions, capacities and limitations of adaptive strategies among farmers. A total of six (6) villages were considered namely; Kwamare and Iwa in upland zone, Uchira and Yamu Makaa in midland zone, as well as Ngasinyi and Oria in lowland zone. From each village, ten (10) farmers were selected for interviews using simple random sampling approach, thus making a total of sixty (60) respondents. Both quantitative and qualitative designs were used in this research study. Different data collection instruments were used including: Focus group discussions, individual interview, field observations mixed with interviews and questionnaire survey method (semi-structured and open). The results show that farmers have experienced CC and CV mainly increased temperature, rainfall variability and increased pest invasions in all agro-ecological zones thus impacting crop production. Food insecurity was experienced mostly by farmers in lowland and midland zones. The soil water conservation practices, introduction of new crop varieties, stop cultivating some crops, as well as mixed cropping were found to be the most opted adaptation strategies to CC and CV. The possibilities of farmers to practice adaptation strategies effectively were mainly limited by low financial and lack of agricultural based skills. Population increase and poverty have been found to be other factors contributed to food insecurity. However, the diversifying HH income sources, reducing number of meals eaten per day and casual laboring were found to be adaptation strategies to food insecurity. Government should enhance sustainable adaptive strategies for reducing the impacts of CC, particularly for the most vulnerable region and social groups.


Keywords: Climate change, climate variability, smallholder farmers, household, adaptation strategies, food security, agro-ecological zones, crop production, Tanzania.

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