Food Insecurity Still Haunts Country
01 December 2010, allAfrica.com
Food insecurity and malnutrition is likely to increase in Tanzania due to the impact of climate change on agriculture, hence impacting further on the economy of individual households, it has been observed.
Studies have also shown that climate change will reduce the gross domestic product (GDP) by between 0.6 to 1.0 per cent by 2030 and it could rise to between 5 to 68 per cent in 2085.
Presenting a paper on 'The Climate Change and its Impacts on Agriculture in Tanzania', Ms Euster Kibona from Environmental Protection and Management Services said that climate
change is among the emerging challenges in the 21st century. She said that population
suffering from food shortages and depressed household economy is expected to increase by 60 per cent by 2030.
The National dialogue was organised in Dar es Salaam by the Economic and Social Foundation (ESRF) in collaboration with the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN).
"In central Tanzania, warmer temperatures combined with reduced rainfall will lead to declining crop yields and in highlands and southern highlands, warmer temperatures will result into shorter growing seasons for maize," she said.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, more than 120,000 tonnes of food aid is required this year as a result of drought last year
which affected more than 1.5 million people.
"Kirya Ward in Mwanga District lost more than 70 per cent of its livestock during the 2009 drought and the district received over 600 metric tonnes of food aid due to poor harvest of
crops associated with drought," Ms Kibona said.
The study also shows that there are warmer temperatures all over the country, with some areas receiving less rainfalls, altered rain seasons and there are more climatic extremes such
as droughts and floods. The dialogue participants advised agriculture and climate change experts to use local villagers' knowledge in implementing the programmes to achieve the desired goal.
"In order for effective adaptation programmes to be successful, government officials must avoid imposing their ideas on local community. Instead, they, should sit down with them and find the best way forward," noted Leonard Mubali from Kigoma.