Information dissemination for adaptation to climate change and variability in the agriculture sector : the case of Malunga and Chibelela villages, central Tanzania.
This study investigated how access to and use of agricultural information contributed to farmers’ adaptation to climate change and variability in the semi-arid Maluga and Chibelela villages of central Tanzania. The major research problem this study sought to address was how information on adaptation to climate change and variability is packaged and disseminated to farmers. Specifically, the study 1) identified the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa project goals of disseminating information to farmers on climate change and variability; 2) assessed the status of knowledge adaptation to climate change and variability by farmers; 3) determined farmers’ access to, and use of, information on climate change and variability, and 4) investigated factors affecting access to, and use of, information on adaptation to climate change and variability by farmers. The study was underpinned by Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations Model. A post-positivist approach was used, with a predominantly qualitative and lesser quantitative approach, respectively. Interviews and focus group discussions were used to collect data. The study population was made up of farmers, agricultural extension officers and the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa project manager. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics and the SPSS, while qualitative data was analysed using content analysis. Reliability and validity were ensured by methodological triangulation, pretesting the interview guides and careful transcription of the data. The key findings showed that farmers’ training is crucial in mitigating the impacts of climate change and variability for agricultural development. The study found farmers had a problem with accessing and using climate information. Farmers perceived scientific information on weather as unreliable and untimely and were turning to indigenous knowledge (IK) to predict weather patterns. Repackaging of timely and accurate information on climate change and variability, education and training for farmers and collaboration between researchers, meteorology experts, extension officers and farmers are recommended for implementation to mitigate the adverse effect of climate change and variability on farmers. A clear policy framework for the dissemination of information related to climate change and variability is needed.