Are rainfall and temperature really changing? Farmer’s perceptions, meteorological data, and policy implications in the Tanzanian semi-arid zone

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Although various climate models, statistical crop models and economic simulations have been established to determine the level of farmers’ vulnerability, there has been little systematic assessment of farmers’ perception towards climate change in association with meteorological analyses and policy implications in Tanzania. The results from this assessment will enhance the formation of robust policies that improve resilient livelihoods and the capacity to adapt to climate change and variability. This paper seeks to (i) reveal the farmers’ perception on variation, change of rainfall, and temperature in the Tanzanian semi-arid area; (ii) depict meteorological evidence for the perceived rainfall and temperature changes; (iii) assess the policy perception and responses for the changing climate; and (iv) discuss the correlation between farmers’ perception and meteorological data. Household surveys, informative interviews and discussions were employed during data collection. The Mann-Kendall Test and SPSS (version 20) were used for climate data analyses, while qualitative data were thematically analyzed. The results showed that from 1980 to 2015 the mean annual rainfall decreased ( R2 = 0.21) while temperature increased (R2 = 0.30). Even though majority farmers agreed with these results, they had not yet taken serious measures to curb the situation. Besides, Agricultural Policy has lightly addressed and enforced the implementations of adaptation strategies to reduce climate impacts and vulnerability. Thereby, creation of awareness and intensification of climate adaptation strategies is needed at both farm and policy level.



Tanzania, Vulnerability, Semi-arid agro-ecological zones, Government policies, Farmers’ perception, Climate models, Climate change adaptation, Agricultural production