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Climate change adaptation strategies by local farmers in Kilombero district, Tanzania

This article examines current adaptation strategies developed by local farmers against climate change effects in Kilombero District. Research questions guided the study include; what are the past and current climatic stresses? What are local farmers’ perception on climate change and response to the adverse climatic stresses? What are institutions and political structures influencing local farmer’s adaptive capacity? The study was carried out in Mpofu, Njage and Miwangani villages. Data were collected through participatory rural appraisal, key informant interviews, household questionnaire interviews and focus group discussions. Findings show that there is prevalence of climate stresses including; prolonged dry spells, unpredictable floods, pests and diseases. Due to these stresses farmers have developed local adaptation strategies which are farming and non-farming. Farming strategies were crop diversification for food and cash and shift of cropping calendar. Non-farming strategies include the use of forest products, livestock rearing, fishing, petty trade, casual labours and remittances. Inferential statistics show that family size, number of years the respondent lived in the village, trend of rainfall and temperature are the factors influencing adaptation strategies positively. The study recommends local adaptation strategies to be streamlined to relevant policies in order to enhance local farmers’ adaptive capacity and become helpful in facing both present and future climate change effects.