Improving Agricultural Support Services for Smallholder Farmers’ Adaptation to Climate Variability in Rungwe District in Tanzania

Verdiana T Tilumanywa


Agriculture is the main source of livelihood in Tanzania. Agricultural development in Tanzania, however, has been constrained by climatic factors including climate variability and non-climatic challenges such as poverty, small size of land holdings, limited access to non-farm activities, poor access to and low use of improved seeds and fertilizers, limited access to financing for uptake of technology, global agricultural policies and diseases such as HIV/AIDS. In the era of climate change and variability, sustained and improved productivity occurs when smallholder farmers adapt to climate variability. Agricultural support services are important in bringing about resilience to the effects of climate variability. In this paper, strategies to improve the effectiveness of the whole service sector in the provision of agricultural support services are analysed basing on information derived from household socio-economic data, focus group discussions and key informants. It demonstrates that non-governmental organizations and private sectors are currently significant service providers in the provision of agricultural support services. The findings indicate that agricultural support services provided by the private sector though costly are by far more reliable compared to public sector. It is recommended that the government offers an enabling environment for the private sector in terms of assured economic stability, political stability and efficient markets so as to enhance the private sector towards provision of agricultural support services.


Key words: adaptation, agricultural support services, climate variability, smallholder farmers 

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