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Emma Liwenga
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Emma Liwenga
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Journal of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development

Smallholder farmers pathway to resilience: achieving food security through adaptation strategies in Southern Highlands of Tanzania

Brown Gwambene and Emma Liwenga

Institute of Resource Assessment, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Accepted 14 July, 2016.

Citation: Gwambene B, Liwenga E (2016). Smallholder Farmers Pathway to Resilience: Achieving Food Security through Adaptation Strategies in Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Journal of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, 3(2): 105-111.

Copyright: © 2016 Gwambene and Liwenga. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.


Building smallholder farmers’ resilience is essential to the sustainability of food security interventions. Being food secure alone is not enough, as disasters, including climate related extremes can quickly wipe out hard won development gains.  Climate variability is an immediate challenge affecting the economy and poses threats to agriculture production and food security for smallholder farmers in rural communities. The livelihoods of people who depend on climate sensitive agricultural resources are particularly vulnerable. This study used a survey method to envisage adaptation strategies in agricultural production of smallholder farmer so as to increase resilience and create opportunities for increasing food security and environmental sustainability. The results indicated that more frequent and severe extreme climatic events, especially drought and heavy rainfall pose challenges to agricultural production and on ensuring food security in the area. To deal with such climate related extreme events, farmers develop different adaptation measures. Although farmers’ adaptation measures may not succeed completely, they form the basis of solutions to extreme events and disaster preparedness. It suggested that, addressing the threat posed by climate change will require better quantification of the problem, greater attention for prioritizing which production systems are vulnerable, and a redoubling of land and water management efforts. Climate change is occurring within a background of other global challenges, such as population growth, urbanization, land and water use, rural- urban migration, and biodiversity depletion. Thus, efforts to adapt to the impact of climate change should do so in a manner that is consistent with these broader development issues.

Keywords: Smallholder farmers, Resilience, Food Security, climate change, adaptation and livelihood strategies