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Research approaches in propagating climate change resilience in Tanzania's agricultural sector
6 June 2011
Gratian Bamwenda


The aim of this paper is to conduct an assessment of Tanzania's climate change position and to identify the key players and their research activities in propagating climate change resilience in the agricultural sector. An analysis has been conducted on the core climate change challenges in the agricultural sector and priority responses have been identified. In addition, additional research options have been proposed.

It was observed that:
  1. Most Tanzanians, especially the agricultural communities and agricultural value chain stakeholders, are well aware of the seriousness of climate change and must position themselves to respond to the challenges that it poses for the agriculture sector in Tanzania. In addition, the stakeholders must strive to understand and address factors that contribute to climate change in their respective subsectors.
  2. Adaptation and mitigation in agriculture will require local responses, but effective policy and technological responses must also reflect global impacts and inter-linkages across the agricultural value chains and supporting sectors and clusters.
  3. There is a need to recognize that science, technology and innovation underpin success and sustainability in all aspects for coping with risks and realizing opportunities associated with climate variability and change and in addressing existing and future impacts of climate induced crises in the agricultural sector. Tanzania should build capabilities and competences to be able to develop, adapt and exploit scientific and technological solutions appropriate to specific needs, otherwise we risk becoming more embroiled in never ending and costly climate change related crisis and emergencies.
It is recommended that future priority responses should be centered on promoting and facilitating the following:
  • prudent use of resources to prepare to live in changing climatic environments;
  • devise sound mitigation and sustainable adaptation coping strategies that are sensitive to local environmental, social and cultural diversity and integrating them in strategic economic sectors;
  • encouraging research that will provide science-based solutions and pro-poor approaches for adaptation of Tanzania's agricultural systems to climate change and promote country-wide transfer and sharing of information, knowledge, innovations, and technologies;
  • cooperating with stakeholders in undertaking a strategic transformation of the agricultural systems to adapt them to emerging potential changes and to maintain the momentum for change;
  • policy priorities must be implemented including (a) increasing investments in public agricultural R&D, (b) rebuilding and expanding public agricultural research capacity in the agricultural research institutes, parastatals, and academia, (c) harnessing new technologies; (d) encouraging complementarities between public and private/regional agricultural research, helping to mitigate risk, (e) investing in better information, modeling, and forecasts, (f) support competitive and responsive agricultural markets, and (g) encouraging investments that improve spatial market integration; and
  • ensure appropriate domestic and international collaborative networks are strengthened to share experiences and best practices.

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