Smallholder Farmers’ Adaptation Strategies to Impact of Climate Change in Semi-arid Areas of Iringa District Tanzania

Mary L. Kihupi, Christopher Mahonge, Emmanuel E. Chingonikaya


The current climate is already marginal with respect to precipitation in many parts of Africa, especially in semi-arid areas. Impact of climate change will bring substantial losses especially to smallholder farmers whose main source of livelihood derives from agriculture. Such impacts can be significantly reduced through adaptation. Given the high dependence on rain-fed agriculture and prevailing drought condition of semi-arid areas of Iringa district, the area may be quite vulnerable to the current and future climatic changes. The frequency supply of food relief from the Tanzania government to smallholder farmers in Ismani, emphasizes its vulnerability to climate changes. Therefore, this study determined adaptation measures carried out in semi-arid areas of Iringa District Ismani and Pawaga Divisions in particular. The research design was cross sectional. A multistage sampling procedure was applied in selecting divisions, wards, villages and households. Ismani and Pawaga divisions were purposeful selected basing on their climatic condition. A total of 240 respondents were selected randomly from eight villages. Data were collected through household survey, key informant interview, observation and focus group discussion methods. Quantitative data analysis was done using SPSS whereby descriptive statistics were computed. Qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis. The findings revealed that smallholder farmers in Pawaga and Ismani divisions were adapting to impact of climate change through irrigation, crop diversification, planting early maturing maize varieties, planting drought resistant crops, changing of planting dates, and agriculture diversification and non-farm activities. It can be concluded that the smallholder farmers in both divisions used various adaption strategies against climate change impact. However, the farmers in the two divisions still face the impact of climate change in their livelihoods. Based on the conclusion made in this study, there are required efforts from various stakeholders including government to improve the adaptation strategies to be appropriate and effective.


Key words: Climate change; adaptation strategies; smallholder farmers; semi-arid, Iringa District

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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