Determinants of Farmers' Choice of Coping Strategies to Climate Variability and Change in Manyoni District, Singida Region, Tanzania
Climate variability and change (CV & C) poses a threat to the sustainability of food production among small-scale farmers in rural Tanzania that are dependent on rain-fed agriculture. Understanding farmers’ coping to CV & C and the determinants of their coping decision is crucial in designing realistic strategies and policies for agriculture development. Therefore, this study investigated coping strategies practiced by small-scale farmers and factors that influenced coping decisions in Manyoni District. A random sampling technique and household survey method was used to gather cross-sectional data from 330 small-scale farmers selected from 6 wards. Out of 8 coping strategies identified by small-scale farmers, the four main coping strategies were subsequently adopted and used included; selling of livestock, off-farm employment, decreasing meal consumption and supplementing livestock feeds. The findings from Multivariate Probit Model showed some households' characteristics that influenced the choice of coping strategies were; the age of household head, household size, farm size, farming experience, technology uses, annual income, extension services, livestock ownership, and shift in rain season. The study concludes that the adoption of coping strategies is important and inevitable. Economic activities diversification through livestock keeping and off-farm employment is the key factor to minimize the impact of CV & C. Extension services is the significant determinant factor for the adoption of coping strategies and survival of small-scale farmers. The study recommends that the government and Non-governmental organizations should invest in climate-resilient programs and formulate policies that will focus on addressing challenges facing small-scale farmers in the course of adopting coping strategies. Government policies and investment must be geared towards the support of education on coping strategies, diversification in economic activities through off-farm employment, livestock keeping, and the use of technology. The government should formulate policies on extension services to ensure deployment of extension agents in every villages.