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Fasco Idfonce Chengula
Brigitte Nyambo
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Brigitte Nyambo
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International Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension

The significance of indigenous weather forecast knowledge and practices under weather variability and climate change: a case study of smallholder farmers on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro

Fasco Chengula and Brigitte Nyambo

Centre for Climate Change Studies, University of Dar es Salaam; P. O. Box 33453;, Tanzania

International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, (ICIPE), P. O. Box 30772-00100 Nairobi-Kenya;

Accepted 03 June, 2016

Citation: Chengula F, Nyambo B (2016). The significance of indigenous weather forecast knowledge and practices under weather variability and climate change: a case study of smallholder farmers on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. International Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 2(2): 031-043.

 

Copyright: © 2016 Chengula and Nyambo. 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.

Abstract

This paper discusses the implication of indigenous knowledge-based weather forecasts (IK-BFs) as a tool for reducing risks associated with weather variability and climate change among smallholder farmers on the south eastern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Moshi Rural District of Tanzania. Participatory research approaches and household surveys were used to identify and document past and existing IK-BF practices. Local communities in the study transect use traditional experiences and knowledge to predict impending weather conditions by observing a combination of locally available indicators: plant phenology (40.80%), bird behaviour (21.33%), atmospheric changes (10.40%), insects’ behaviour (7.20%), environmental changes on Kilimanjaro, Pare and Ugweno mountains (4.80%), astronomical indicators (4.8%),  animal behaviour (4.00%), water related indicators (3.73%) and traditional calendars (2.93%). The study established that 60% of farmers use and trust IK-BFs over modern science-based forecasts (SCFs).  Although about 86.3% of respondents observed some correlation between IK-BFs and SCFs, and 93.6% supported integration of the two sets of information, the nature and extent of their correlation is not yet established. We none the less recommend that IK-BFs be taken into relevant national policies and development frameworks to facilitate agro-ecological conservation for use and delivery of effective weather and climate services to farming communities.

Key words: Indigenous knowledge, weather forecast, smallholder farmers, climate change and variability