Assessment of Beekeeping as an Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change in Iramba District
The effects of climate change in Tanzania affect rain fed agriculture and reduce the productivity in most parts of Tanzania. Indigenous knowledge and different agricultural strategies, on how to diversify to other agricultural activity like beekeeping has been adopted by different communities in Tanzania, especially in semi-arid areas. This paper focuses on assessing potentials of beekeeping as an adaptation strategy against impacts of climate change in Iramba District. The research used different methods in collecting information such as key informants’ interviews, focus group discussions and observation methods. Secondary data were collected through documentary review, while the questionnaire was administered to 150 heads of households from four villages namely: Kyalosangi, Galangala, Mdonkolo and Songambele. The results show that over a period of 30 years, about 77% of respondents reported decrease in maize and 78% decrease in sunflower productivity. In interviews, the respondents indicated that they have shifted to beekeeping which contributes more to household’s income than land tilling which is rain-fed. This is supported by 33.1% who were attracted in beekeeping for income purposes. The average honey production per hive ranges from 10 – 15 Lts/hive in top bar hives and frame hives, while traditional hives ranges between 5 – 10 Lts/hive. This study therefore recommends provision of appropriate capacity building and financial support to beekeepers in order to optimize production of bee products in the study area.