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Title: Perceived and measured climate variability and change in semi-arid environments in Tanzania: experiences from Iramba and Meatu Districts

Authors: Samwel J. Kabote; Delphina P. Mamiro; Gry Synnevåg; Justin K. Urassa; Amon Z. Mattee; Jonathan S. Mbwambo; Carolyne I. Nombo; Emanuel E. Chingonikaya; Leah Masolwa

Addresses: Development Studies Institute, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3024, Morogoro, Tanzania ' Department of Crop Science and Production, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3005, Morogoro, Tanzania ' Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Noragric 1432 Ås, Norway ' Development Studies Institute, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3024, Morogoro, Tanzania ' Department of Agricultural Extension, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3002, Morogoro, Tanzania ' Development Studies Institute, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3024, Morogoro, Tanzania ' Development Studies Institute, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3024, Morogoro, Tanzania ' Development Studies Institute, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3024, Morogoro, Tanzania ' Tumbi Agricultural Research Institute, P.O. Box 306, Tumbi, Tabora, Tanzania

Abstract: This paper combines farmers' perceptions of climate variability and change and meteorological data trends to generate empirical evidence to broaden an understanding of the phenomena. The results show an agreement on changing rainfall patterns. Bad years described by drought frequencies, temperature, and dry spell have increased since the 1970s. Crop growing period has decreased by one month in Meatu and by more than a month in Iramba. As hypothesised, the Mann-Whitney U test shows similar men and women's perceptions at 5% level of significance (P value = 0.701). Similarly, the Kruskal-Wallis H test indicates that the poor, not so poor and the rich have the same perceptions (P value = 0.281). These results have implications on crop and livestock production systems and on livelihoods more generally. We conclude that climate variability and change manifestations overlap, making it a complex phenomena perceived equally by men, women, the poor and non-poor. This is understood holistically by combining farmers' perceptions and meteorological data trends to inform adaptation strategies related decision making.

Keywords: farmer perceptions; meteorological data; climate variability; agro-pastoralism; semi-arid areas; Tanzania; rainfall patterns; precipitation; drought frequency; temperature; dry weather; crop production; livestock production; livelihoods; adaptation strategies; agriculture.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2017.080836

International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, 2017 Vol.16 No.1, pp.1 - 24

Available online: 18 Nov 2016 *

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