The Effectiveness of Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change and Variability in Enhancing Rural Smallholder Farmers’ Food Security in Mvomero District, Tanzania

Isdory Mligo, Salome Misana, Noah M. Pauline


This study seeks to provide an understanding of the effectiveness of adaptation strategies to climate change and variability in enhancing food security of rural smallholder farmers in Mvomero District. Food availability, measured by surplus food production, was the indicator of food security. Simple random sampling was used to get 373 respondents, while purposive sampling was used to get 38 key informants and 56 focus group participants. Household questionnaire interviews, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and a review of document were used to collect data. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the quantitative data, while the qualitative data were analysed through content analysis. The results revealed that a majority of the respondents (27%) frequently practised intercropping as an adaptation strategy to climate change and variability. Others grew drought-resistant crops and early-maturing crop varieties, mixed farming, irrigation farming, and being involved in off-farm activities. Also, the majority (53%) had no surplus food production, indicating that they were food insecure. The results further revealed that the cultivation of drought-resistant crops and intercropping strategies had statistically significant (p<0.05) negative relationship with surplus food production, suggesting that respondents who were rarely, or not practising these strategies, were less likely to have surplus food production compared to respondents who were frequently practising them. Thus, growing of droughtresistant crops and intercropping are effective strategies in improving food security; suggesting that these strategies should be promoted to improve food security of rural smallholder farmers in Mvomero district.

Keywords: adaptation strategies, climate change and variability, food security, smallholder farmers

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