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Availability, Access and Use of Weather and Climate Information by Smallholder Farmers in the Kilombero River Catchment, Tanzania

  • E. P. Ruth
  • J. J. Kashaigili
  • A. E. Majule
Chapter
  • 31 Downloads

Abstract

Climate information is vital in national development planning for the management of development opportunities and risks, as well as mitigation and adaptation. Nevertheless, little is known about the obstacles and opportunities for decision-making in Tanzania, particularly for smallholder farmers. This study sought to: (i) understand the demand for, availability and usefulness of weather and climate information and (ii) assess diffusion methods – how information reaches farmers and whether information is used for decision-making. Qualitative and quantitative approaches were used to collect data in the two study villages. Quantitative data were analysed statistically and qualitative data by content analysis. Findings revealed that rainfall, temperature and sunshine were the most commonly accessed weather information. The main use of information was for preparedness and the timing of crop planting, as revealed by about 95% and 70% of respondents, respectively. Barriers to the use of climate information included lack of localised weather and climate information, generalisation of the information and the content being too technical (ca. 60% of respondents). Socio-economic characteristics (level of education, age and gender) appeared to affect access to and use of information. This study recommends the provision of more timely and accurate information on climate, the training of farmers on using this information and improved cooperation with stakeholders such as researchers, meteorologists and extension officers on climate adaptation strategies.

Keywords

Adaptation strategies Climate change Climate information Decision making Kilombero River Catchment Mitigation measures Smallholder farmers Tanzania Weather information 

Abbreviations

CIS

Climate information service

FGD

Focus group discussion

GDP

Gross domestic product

IITA

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

IPCC

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

IUFRO

International Union of Forest Research Organizations

KRC

Kilombero River Catchment

NGO’s

Non-governmental organizations

SAGCOT

Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania

SPSS

Statistical Package for Social Sciences

TBC

Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation

TMA

Tanzania Meteorological Agency

UMFULA

Uncertainty Reduction in Models for Understanding Development Applications (UMFULA means “river” in Zulu)

URT

United Republic of Tanzania

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was carried out under the Future Climate for Africa UMFULA Project, with the financial support from the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), grant ref. No: NE/M020037/1, and the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID).

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. P. Ruth
    • 1
  • J. J. Kashaigili
    • 1
  • A. E. Majule
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Forest Resources Assessment and Management, Sokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania
  2. 2.Institute of Resources Assessment, University of Dar es SalaamDar es SalaamTanzania

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