Impact of changes in agriculture systems on environment: the case of clove decline in Wete district-Pemba

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study intended to find out the impact of changes in agricultural systems on the environment. The study examined the major factors that led to changes in agricultural systems and environment in the area. It established the trend of changes so as to see the changes vividly. Moreover, the study identified the environmental threats that facing the area of the study. The study employed a questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, and focus group discussions with the local people in the study area. Moreover, the study used observation during the field survey. Some data were documented using a digital camera and a field log book. Secondary data used for this study were from the Department of Cash Crops and Forestry Zanzibar, Department of Statistics Zanzibar and the meteorological data on rainfall and temperature, all obtained from the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA). The data were analysed in frequencies and percentages using both Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS v.16) and Microsoft Excel software. The results were further synthesized into tables, charts and graphs. The findings from the study indicated that both socio-economic and natural factors were responsible for changes in agricultural systems in the area. Socio-economic factors like the decline of clove production, raising income, poverty, price increase, government policy towards agriculture, land scarcity, neglecting clove plantations, and natural factors such as population increase and climate change facilitated changes in agriculture systems and impact onto the environment. The findings about the trend in agricultural crops and systems showed that the farmers acquired land under clove plantations, forest trees and abandoned clove plantations, and bushes where they cultivated annual and root crops. The trends in hectares had shown that the hectares in clove adoption were decreasing while the acreages in annual and root crops were increasing. There was also a change in crop varieties adoption from long time crop varieties to short time crop varieties. The methods of farming also changed from mound to ridge farming. In addition, the findings showed that changes in agricultural systems caused various environmental threats such as deforestation, depletion of water sources, climate change, land degradation, the rise of crops pests and diseases, and depletion of clove trees. Therefore, there is a change from mono-permanent cropping to multi-annual cropping system, from mound to ridge system and from adopting long to short time crop varieties, which threaten the environment. The government should raise the price of cloves so that farmers can concentrate more on permanent tree crops, which will reduce environmental degradation.
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Agriculture systems, Environment, Clove decline, Wete district, Pemba
Slim, S. K (2012) Impact of changes in agriculture systems on environment: the case of clove decline in Wete district-Pemba, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. (Available at