Climate change perceptions by smallholder coffee farmers in the Northern and Southern highlands of Tanzania and bioresearch


Smallholder farmers are among the most vulnerable groups to climate change. Efforts to enhance farmers’ adaptation to climate change are hindered by lack of information on how they are experiencing and responding to climate change. Therefore, this paper examines smallholder farmers’ perceptions of climate change, factors influencing their perceptions, and the impacts and adaptation strategies adopted over the past three to four decades. A list of farmers was obtained from the Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Society (AMCOS) and filtered on the basis of age and farming experience. In order to explore factors influencing household perceptions of climate change, a structured questionnaire was administered to the randomly selected household heads. Data on rainfall and temperature were acquired from Lyamungo and Burka Coffee estate (Northern Highlands zone) and Mbimba and Mbinga (Southern Highlands zone) offices of the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) with the exception of data from Burka Coffee estate, which were acquired from a private operator. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression models were used to analyze the data. Farmers’ perceptions were consistent with meteorological data both pointing to significant decline in rainfall and increase in temperature since 1979. Factors such as level of education, farming experience, and access to climate information influenced farmers’ perception on climate change aspects. Based on these results, it is recommended to enhance timely and accurate weather information delivery along with developing institutions responsible for education and extension services provision. The focus of education or training should be on attenuating the impacts of climate change through relevant adaptation measures in each coffee-growing region.


Journal Article


Coffea arabica, Climate change, Farmers’ perceptions, Tanzania