Vulnerability and Responses of Smallholder Farmers to Climate Change Effects in Semiarid Areas of Bahi and Kongwa Districts, Tanzania
This study examined the vulnerability and responses of smallholder farmers to climate change effects in Semiarid Areas of Bahi and Kongwa Districts. A total of 366 household heads were involved in this study. The study employed questionnaire, interviews and documentary review as data collection techniques. Archival data for temperature, rainfall and crop yields were collected for trend analysis. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse quantitative data, content analysis was employed to analyse qualitative data. Simple linear trend analysis and Mann Kendall were used to establish trends. The findings indicate that smallholder farmers in the study area have noted reduced rainfall, increased temperature and reduced production as indicators of climate change. Results from archival data indicate insignificant decline of rainfall, significant increase of temperature and insignificant decline of crop yields at 5% significance level. As a response to these changes, smallholder farmers reported to use improved crop varieties, change planting dates, use intercropping, out-migrating and change land use practices. Several challenges were reported to hinder effective adaptation including inadequate capital, limited soft loans, limited weather information and deficient extension services. It is concluded that the climate is changing in the study area calling for strengthening farmers’ adaptive capacity.
Keywords: Adaptive strategies, climate change effects, challenges, semiarid area, Tanzania.
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