Sustainability of Adaptation Strategies in Rainfed Agriculture to Climate Change and Variability in Nyang’oro Ward in Iringa District, Tanzania

Joshua Mtwanga, Tiemo R. Haule, Evarist Fundisha


This study assesses the sustainability of adaptation strategies in rainfed agriculture to the effects of climate change and variability (CC & V) in Nyang’oro ward in Iringa District, Tanzania. The study involved a total of 138 respondents, of which 120 were household heads; whereby 82 respondents were from Nyang’oro village, and 38 were from Chamndindi village. The study employed a crosssectional survey research design using both quantitative and qualitative research approaches. Primary data were collected through questionnaires, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions; and secondary data were collected through documentary review. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse quantitative data with the SPSS software, version 27; while qualitative data were analysed through content analysis. The study found that strategies used to adapt to the effects of CC & V in rainfed agriculture varied in terms of sustainability, such that some were sustainable while others were not. Sustainable adaptation strategies were used by a few households. As a result, crop production remains vulnerable to the effects of CC & V. The study concludes that the vulnerability of rainfed agriculture to the effects of CC & V in the study area is caused by the household heads’ selection of strategies as few individuals used sustainable adaptation strategies. The study recommends the government and other stakeholders to put more efforts on capacity building on the use of sustainable strategies in the adaptation to the effects of CC & V on rainfed agriculture by smallholder farmers to ensure optimum and sustainable crop production in a changing climate.

Keywords: adaptation strategies, climate change and variability, rainfed agriculture, sustainability

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