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Last updated: June 28, 2019

The presented observations were supported by 96.6 percent of respondents in the study area who held that temperatures have been increasing in the past twenty years (Table 4.4). Increase in temperature appear to have been detected in the mid-1980s where majority of farmers started to feel that temperatures changed with much of the increase in 1990s and they have continued to present.

4.4.7 Climate Change Impacts on Maize Production
All interviewed households reported to be affected by CC. From interviews, it was disclosed that the highest experienced impacts were low crop yield caused by prolonged drought, dry crops, crop pests or rodents, crop disease, erratic rainfall, short rainfall and increasing soil aridity due to maximum evaporation. However, more impacts were largely reported in Mkungugu than Mkulula because the village has frequently faced prolonged drought, dry spells and attacks for their crops from pests and diseases that affected maize production. For instance, consultation with key informants in both villages revealed that in past thirty years, Mkungugu village experienced about ten major droughts, seven occurred between 1970 and 2009, only two severe events occurred in 2011 as well as 2013 and another severe drought occurred in 2015. Such weather patterns dried crops and thus, crop growth failure. Also DAICO reported that due to extreme drought weather facing Mkungugu village, the government constructed water harvesting dam in the village. In the contrary, Mkulula experienced about five major drought events (2000, 2003, 2005, 2011 and 2012). Figure 4.12 shows the impacts of climate change in the studied villages.
Figure 4.12: Impacts of climate change on farming activities at the village level

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Source: Field Survey (2018)

In terms of crop/maize production, households reported noticeable decline in annual production compared to the past ten (10) years. The main factors for the decline were associated with CC, which influences on occurrence of prolonged dry spells (54%), crop pest (20.7%), diseases (16%) together with unpredictable rains, erratic and short rains (9.3%) (see Figure 4.12). Table 4.5 indicates overall summary of maize production in terms of sacks for past ten years based on individual interviews/recalls.

Table 4.5: Household maize production in the past ten years and present in the study area
Amounts (Sacks) Past ten years Resent year 2016/2017
Amounts (Sacks) Frequency Past ten years (%) Frequency 2016/2017 (%)
?5 32 21.3 94 62.7
6-10 47 31.3 42 28.0
11-15 35 23.3 12 8.0
16-20 19 12.7 1 0.7
21-25 6 4.0 00 00
26-30 5 3.3 1 0.7
?31 3 2.0 00 00
Don’t know 3 2.0 00 00
Total 150 100% 150 100%
Source: Field survey (2018).

Table 4.5 shows that in the past ten years, the highest percentage of respondent households that harvested 6 to 10 sacks accounted for 31.3 percent followed by 23.3 percent who harvested 11 to 15 sacks, while 21.3 percent harvested below 5 sacks. Another group (12.7%) harvested 16-20 sacks and 21-26 sacks were harvested by 4 percent of respondents. About 3.3 percent harvested 26-30 sacks and the largest household capable to harvest above 30 sacks accounted for 2 percent (Table 4.5; Figure 4.13). The remaining (2%) did not remember their harvests (ibid.).
Figure 4.13: Household maize production for the past ten years at the village level

Source: Field Survey (2018).

Based on these findings (Table 4.5), it shows that in 2016/2017, the rate of maize production among respondent households decreased. For instance, 3.3 percent decreased by harvesting 6-10 sacks, while 15.3 percent harvested 11-15 sacks as another decrease followed by 12 percent who harvested 16-20 sacks. There was no respondent household who harvested above 31 sacks in 2016/2017 in the study area.

However, at village level, respondent households from Mkungugu village reported being the most affected in terms of maize production compared to Mkulula village. Results at village level in 2016/2017 revealed decline in production compared to the past ten years for both villages. The highest declines were spotted in Mkungugu. For instance, a household in Mkungugu failed to harvest 16 and above sacks, while the largest harvest ranged between 11 and 15 sacks that account for 8.6 percent (see Figure 4.14). Also much of the highest amounts of harvested sacks for Mkulula accounted for 1.3 percent between 16 and 20 sacks and as well as at a range between 26 and 30 sacks, respectively (ibid.). Despite minor differences in terms of produced amounts among respondents in both villages, this signifies that both villages have been affected by CC.

Figure 4.14: Household maize production for 2016/2017 at village level

Source: Field Survey (2018)

Household respondents’ experiences were then compared with findings from key informants and FGD. The data collected mostly indicated climate change mainly dry spells, severe drought, pests and disease invasion brought about negative impacts on maize production. Such pattern led to food insecurity in the study area also echoed through the following quotes:

Box 4.5: Experience of CC impacts on maize production by extension officer and farmers

Plate 4.1: Dried maize crop due to prolonged dry spells field survey of 2018

Besides experienced farmers, extension officer and FGD attendants with such views on impacts of CC, almost all stakeholders who were interviewed had similar views as shown in the quote below,

Box 4.6: Experiences of CC impacts and food insecurity by NGOs and District officers

The situation of food insecurity in the study area was also explained by DAICO and Crop Officer when they talked about provision of food relief to the household that has no food due to CC impacts.
Box 4.7: Experiences on food insecurity due to CC impacts on maize production

In general, this study found that maize production has declined due to CC impacts thereby leading to food insecurity. It has made some people shift from maize cultivation to drought tolerant crops such as millet and sunflower in order to get enough food.

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