Indigenous and scientific evidence on climate change effects on cereal crops production in semi-arid areas of Central Tanzania

  • H.E. Myeya
  • C.A. Mulungu
Keywords: Climate change, climate variables, climate change effects, crop yields, Tanzania


Changes in temperature and rainfall have been reported at both local and global level with negative influence on crop yields. This article attempts to investigate the effects of climate change on cereal crops in semi-arid areas of Dodoma region, Tanzania. To achieve the research objectives, mixed method research approach under cross-sectional design was used. A total of 366 heads of households and 36 key informants were involved in this study. The study further used archival data on rainfall, temperature and crop yields of maize, sorghum and bulrush millet for the past 27 years (1984 to 2011). Simple linear trend analysis and Mann-Kendall test were used to establish and test for rainfall, temperature and crop yield trends. Linear regression analysis was applied in establishing the relationship between climate variables and crop yields. Findings from this study reveal increased temperature and reduced rainfall and crop yields as perceived by smallholder farmers and verified by archival data. Results for both minimum and maximum temperature indicate significant increased trends (p=0.000, p=0.000) respectively. Conversely, non-significant decreasing trends for rainfall were noted for Bahi, Mpwapwa and Dodoma stations (p=0.505, p=0.911, p=0.474) respectively. The findings on correlation analysis indicate both positive and negative influence of temperature and rainfall on cereal crop yields. The study concludes that, climate change has impacted cereal crop yields in the study area calling for implementation of more viable adaptation strategies in order to reduce the adverse effects of the changing climate. The study recommends on the use of more drought tolerant crop varieties of cereal seeds that can suit the changing climate.


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