Trade-offs of Dolichos Lablab Production in the Context of the Changing Climate in Semi-arid Areas of Tanzania
This study sought to broaden the understanding of existing opportunities and risks for growing Dolichos lablab in the context of climate change and variability in three villages (Hedaru, Saweni and Makanya) of Same District, Tanzania, using data collected over 2 months, including oral testimony and climatic records, covering the last 58 years (1960-2018). Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected through farmers’ perceptions of climate variability, and opportunities and risks for growing Dolichos lablab in the context of climate variability and change. The study employed key informant interviews, household questionnaires, and focus group discussions. Results show that most respondents have been aware of climate variability and its impacts on crop production. Meteorological data indicated that average temperature increased at a rate of 1.2 degrees Celsius (0C), whilst, rainfall has been decreasing at a rate of 0.23 millimetres (mm) over the past 34 years. Despite such changes, Pearson’s coefficient correlation was deployed to test the significance of rainfall and the production of lablab. Results showed that there is a significant negative correlation
(P=-0.675) between rainfall and lablab production. It was observed that when rainfall was below normal, production of crops was recorded to be high, implying that Dolichos lablab is the best crop to plant during drought conditions, due to its capacity to tolerate droughts. Findings showed further that during lower than normal rainfall, the production of lablab increased and vice versa. It was established that during excessive rainfall, lablab plant grew well, but provided low yield than during low to moderate rainfall. The study argues that Dolichos lablab is an ideal plant to grow due to its ability to withstand climatic stresses. Efforts to promote the crop will enhance adaptive capacity and improve the livelihoods of dryland farmers because it is used both as a cash and food crop.
Keywords: Dolichos lablab, Climate Variability, Climate change, Rainfall, Temperature
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE SOKOINE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE, MOROGORO, TANZANIA