Assessment of small holder paddy producers’ vulnerability and responses to climate variability in Bukombe district, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
Climate variability has been affecting the paddy production in Bukombe District. Thus, Smallholder paddy producers are vulnerable to impacts of climate variability. Farmers have been developing various responses to address the impacts of climate variability. This knowledge is scant and hence, the need to fill the gap becomes apparent. This study aimed at examining farmers’ perception to climate variability, assessing farmers’ vulnerability to climate variability and examining farmers’ responses to climate variability. About 10% of the households (89 households) selected from Shenda and Ilangale village was used for the study. Purposeful, stratified and simple random sampling techniques were used. Structured questionnaire, focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews and field observation were used in the study. An analysis of meteorological data indicated that there is rainfall and temperature variability and the findings were congruent to farmers’ perception. The research findings revealed that 88.7% of respondents were aware of climate variability and this was through their perception of rainfall and temperature variability. The research shows that women, children and the poor are most vulnerable to climate variability. About 74.2% of the respondent expressed that woman as primary care-takers of families are most immediately affected group when famine occurs because they don’t have power to make decisions to find alternatives when there is lack of food. Communities have been able to cope with the situation by developing different adaptation responses ranging from traditional methods, changing of farming methods, diverting to non-farm activities, mulching, growing drought resistant crops and migration in extreme situations. The study recommends that, the Government of Tanzania ensures that farmers have access to affordable credit so as to improve their production strategies in response to the forecasted climate conditions. Extension officers should educate farmers on the proper farming methods especially during drought periods. Subsidised fertilizer should also be provided to farmers, and paddy seeds should come early at the beginning of the season.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QC981.8.C5T34S28)
Climate change, Paddy producers, Farmers, Bukombe district, Tanzania
Sawe, J. (2014) Assessment of small holder paddy producers’ vulnerability and responses to climate variability in Bukombe district, Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam