Welcome to the new look and features of weADAPT and our microsites! Please send feedback to [email protected].

A community assessment of climate change adaptation technologies in semi-arid Tanzania

Report of a community assessment exploring the takeup, effectiveness, gender benefit, and affordability of technologies introduced in a climate change adaptation project in Tanzania.
Hayley Jones
A video overview of this climate change adaptation project in Chamwino, Tanzania.

Introduction

Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement carried out a two day community technology assessment in December 2015 to explore the takeup, effectiveness, gender benefit, and affordability of the technologies introduced in the three Climate Change Agriculture and Poverty Alleviation (C3S) project villages in Chamwino District, Dodoma. The two workshops involved project beneficiaries from the three villages and control groups of non-project farmers. The assessment also compared project impact in terms of crop yields between project farmers and the control groups. Altogether 103 farmers participated in the workshops.

Climate Change Agriculture & Poverty Alleviation (C3S) is a partnership project led by Tanzania Forestry Conservation Group and funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) within the Accountability Tanzania Programme.

Recommendations based on the assessment are provided below alongside the main assessment results, findings and outcomes. The full report can be downloaded from the right-hand column.

Recommendations

  • Improved seeds, ox tillage and Good Agriculture Practices are the package that needs to be rolled out across this semi arid region. Benefits accrue to both women and men.
  • Famers’ access to improved seeds needs to be improved, e.g. by promotion of quality declared seed (QDS) production.
  • Farmers should be supported with access to loan finance to buy (or hire) ox tillage equipment.
  • All farmers should adopt these key project practices to gain significant yield improvements in normal years.
  • ‘Average’ farmers (relatively low uptake of improved technologies) should adopt the practices of the progressive farmers (high uptake of improved technologies) to gain a significant increase in yields and a massive leap in climate resilience.
  • Small livestock improvements should be included as a useful Climate Smart Small-Scale (C3S) agriculture technology.

Assessing Technology Uptake

Farmers were first asked to name the technologies introduced by the project. A list of around ten technologies were named.

Then farmers were asked to indicate their take up of the various technologies, disaggregating data by gender using different colour pens (red for males and blue for females).

Take-up of the ten technologies introduced has been very high, with over 80% take-up of the top four techniques, over 70% of another two, and around 40-60% take-up of the more labour intensive actions.

Effectiveness

Participants were asked to write down on a Post It note their No.1 most effective technology. These ranked as follows:​

Rank

Most effective technology

Score/Votes

1

Improved seeds

46

2

Ox tillage

20

3

Planting in rows/spacing

17

4

Farmyard manure

9

5

Weeding

8

Gender benefit

Female participants (only) were asked to identify the technologies of most benefit to women, and asked why:

Technologies of most benefit to women

Why?

Improved seeds

More food, more oil, cash for school, early maturing, higher yields, more food for the children

Improved livestock

Increased income from selling eggs, to meet household needs

Ox plough

Saves time, conserves moisture, faster growing, easier weeding, prepares large area in short time, frees up time to do other productive activities

Affordability

Participants were asked to indicate their ability (by drawing a dot with a marker pen – red male, blue female) to take up the various technologies, under different financial conditions:

  1. Yes – but only if the technology was free
  2. Yes – but I would need a loan
  3. Yes – with my own money or labour

Technology

Only if free

Only with a loan

With own money or labour

Mulching

0

0

50

Improved seeds

0

16

40

In situ rainwater harvesting

0

1

50

Farmyard manure

0

0

50

Ox tillage

0

40

13

Planting in rows/spacing

0

0

50

Weeding

0

0

50

Tree planting

0

13

40

Ecological pest management

0

6

40

Improved livestock

0

35

16

Most of the technologies introduced are affordable to most of the farmers, without need of loans or grants. However a few technologies are judged by farmers to be beyond their current means, requiring them to seek loans, particularly ox tillage implements, and to a lesser extent improved seeds – both of which are clearly recognised by farmers to be of high benefit.

Yield results

The group explored the yields of sorghum and sunflower over two years – a ‘normal’ rain year (2013/14) and a ‘drought year’(2014/15), comparing crop yields by project participants (Manchali A) and a control group (Manchali B). The workshop disaggregated ‘progressive’ farmers and ‘average’ farmers in both project participant and non project participant groups.

YIELD

(Bags per acre)

Manchali A

(Project beneficiaries)

Manchali B

(Control group)

CROP

Type of farmer

2013/14

normal year

2014/15

drought year

2013/14

normal year

2014/5

drought year

Sorghum

Progressive

11

5

8

2.5

‘Average’

7.5

1

5

1

Sunflower

Progressive

12

9

7

3.5

‘Average’

6.5

1.5

4.5

2

Lessons Learnt

The findings show that:

  1. In a normal rain year all project participants (both progressive and ‘average’) achieved higher yields ranging from 37.5% to 70% increase upon the control group.
  2. In a drought year only the progressive farmers (higher technology uptake) achieved higher yields ranging from 100% to 157% increase over the control group.
  3. In a drought year the ‘average’ (lower technology uptake) farmers achieved no better yields than the control group.
  4. In a drought year the progressive farmers (with high technology uptake) achieved much greater yields (5 to 6 times as much) than the ‘average’ (relatively low technology uptake) farmers within the project.

All farmers adopting project practices gain significant yield improvements in normal years.

‘Average’ farmers (with relatively low uptake of improved technologies) who adopt the practices of the progressive farmers (with high uptake of improved technologies) will gain a significant increase in yields and a massive leap in climate resilience.

Outcomes and Impacts

Take-up of the ten technologies introduced has been very high, with over 80% take-up of the top four techniques, over 70% of another two, and around 40-60% take-up of the more labour intensive actions.

Most of the technologies introduced are affordable to most of the farmers, without need of loans or grants. However a few technologies are judged by farmers to be beyond their current means, requiring them to seek loans, particularly ox tillage implements, and to a lesser extent improved seeds – both of which are clearly recognised by farmers to be of high benefit.

Women particularly found improved seeds and ox-tillage beneficial, as they provided food for the family, and saved labour and time for other productive activities. Ox tillage was also found to facilitate planting in rows and easy weeding.

Yield increased and climate resilience improved. It is clear that uptake of even one or two technologies brings a significant yield benefit in ‘normal’ local conditions, but is not sufficient to protect farmers against severe drought (as occurred in the 2014/15 growing season). However, we see that take up of several technologies provides further yield increases, but more significantly this provides major increases in climate resilience (measured by yield) during extreme drought conditions.

Related resources

Add your project

Exchange your climate change adaptation projects and lessons learned with the global community.