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Livelihoods, vulnerability, and adaptation to climate change of small-holder farmers in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mwasha, Saumu Ibrahim

Livelihoods, vulnerability, and adaptation to climate change of small-holder farmers in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania Thumbnail


Authors

Saumu Ibrahim Mwasha



Contributors

Zoe Robinson
Supervisor

Abstract

Climate change is expected to reduce food security in many African countries, and yield from rain-fed agriculture is projected to decline significantly. Future warming will persist even if current agreements on emission controls are put into action because of the significant amount of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere. Many small holder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa farm and live in an extremely challenging environment, characterised by reliance on rain-fed agriculture, low economic diversification, and low livelihood outcomes. These small-holder farmers are increasingly being affected by increased climate variability, which threatens the capacity to meet their household's needs and the country's food security.
Addressing how small-holder farmers' livelihoods can be managed to adapt to climate change is vital for food security, livelihoods development as well as achievement of several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. While farmers’ adaptation strategies in these environments have been widely studied, our understanding of how small-holder farmers’ livelihoods can be managed based on practical adaptation is less developed.
In this study, using a mixed methods case study design of different agro-ecological zones in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, I explore small-holder farmers’ livelihoods vulnerability and how small-holder farmers' livelihoods can be managed (potential) to adapt to climate change. This work looks at: i) the implication of climate variability to five livelihood assets (financial, human, natural, social and physical) of small-holder farmers; ii) the environmental and social structures that increase livelihoods vulnerability; and iii) strategies to build smallholder farmers' livelihoods resilience through adaptation.
The results show that, climate variability directly or indirectly affect four livelihoods assets of small-holder farmers in the study area; Human, financial, social and natural capital and farmers’ capacity to make their living. The majority of the small-holder farmers manage their livelihoods in such away it affects environmental conditions that complicates living with climate variability. There are multiple stressors that affects farmers’ livelihoods, and existing social structures constrains farmers’ capacity to successfully responding to impact of climate variability to build resilient livelihoods. Building small-holder farmers' livelihoods resilience that can ensure the desired levels of livelihoods outcomes in the face of climate variability and change, requires integration of strategies across household resource management as well as farm-based livelihood assets, and a holistic rather than piecemeal approach.

Thesis Type Thesis
Publication Date 2021-03
Publicly Available Date May 30, 2023

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