DISSEMINATION AND USE OF INFORMATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND VARIABILITY: A CASE STUDY OF FARMERS IN MALUGA AND CHIBELA VILLAGES IN SEMI-ARID CENTRAL TANZANIA
This study was part of broader PhD research which investigated how access to, and use of, information enhances adaptation to climate change and variability in the agricultural sector in semi-arid Central Tanzania. The research was carried out in two villages using Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations theory and model to assess the dissemination of this information and its use by farmers in their adaptation of their farming practices to climate change and variability. This predominantly qualitative study employed a post-positivist paradigm. Some elements of a quantitative approach were also deployed in the data collection and analysis. The principal data collection methods were interviews and focus group discussions. The study population comprised farmers, agricultural extension officers and the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa project manager. Qualitative data were subjected to content analysis whereas quantitative data were analysed to generate mostly descriptive statistics using SPSS.
Key findings of the study show that farmers perceive a problem in the dissemination and use of climate information for agricultural development. They found access to agricultural inputs to be expensive, unreliable and untimely. To mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and variability on farming effectively, the study recommends the repackaging of current and accurate information on climate change and variability, farmer education and training, and collaboration between researchers, meteorology experts, and extension officers and farmers. Moreover, a clear policy framework for disseminating information related to climate change and variability is required.
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