Tracking Effective Indigenous Adaptation Strategies on Impacts of Climate Variability on Food Security and Health of Subsistence Farmers in Tanzania

"Both long and short term changes in climate, disproportionately affect regions in both the semi-arid and arid parts of the globe and the more humid tropics. As smallholder farmers have been staying in these areas and that the climate variability has been affecting them, farmers through experimentation over time, have developed different traditional technologies in order to cope with the climate change vulnerability. In the case study areas of Lushoto and Mpwapwa districts, little has been done in tracking indigenous adaptation strategies developed to address impacts of climate variability on food security and health of subsistence farmers. This paper therefore provides a highlight of the existing indigenous and other related technologies that farmers in the respective districts in Tanzania are employing to counteract to the impacts of climate change and climate variability. Data were collected through key informants interviews, focus group discussions and in depth interviews using a structured questionnaire that was administered to 400 household heads in eight villages from two agro-ecological zones namely humid (Lushoto district) and semi-arid (Mpwapwa district) zones. In this paper, both short and long term adaptation strategies developed by different rural communities are elucidated; policy recommendations for building climate change resilience at local and national levels in Tanzania are proposed. Based on the findings from this study a framework to support policy decisions in crop/livestock production and human health systems in Tanzania is recommended."