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Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1412; doi:10.3390/su9081412

Are Rainfall and Temperature Really Changing? Farmer’s Perceptions, Meteorological Data, and Policy Implications in the Tanzanian Semi-Arid Zone

1,2,* and 1,3,*
1
Centre of Excellence for Soil Biology, College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
2
Department of Physical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro 3038, Tanzania
3
School of Biological Sciences, University of Western Australia, Crawley 6009, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 July 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural production; climate change adaptation; climate models; farmers’ perception; government policies; semi-arid agro-ecological zones; vulnerability; Tanzania agricultural production; climate change adaptation; climate models; farmers’ perception; government policies; semi-arid agro-ecological zones; vulnerability; Tanzania
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mkonda, M.Y.; He, X. Are Rainfall and Temperature Really Changing? Farmer’s Perceptions, Meteorological Data, and Policy Implications in the Tanzanian Semi-Arid Zone. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1412.

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