Agriculture is an essential pillar of The United Republic of Tanzania’s economy, and a key driver of rural development. In fact, the sector employs about 78 percent of the population; it contributes to approximately 95 percent of the national food requirements; it provides livelihood to more than 70 percent of the population; and it accounts for about half of the gross domestic product and export earnings.
However, the majority of households still produce at subsistence level, and agriculture is mainly rain fed, hence more susceptible to climate change impacts. Specifically, the United Republic of Tanzania is already experiencing the adverse impacts of climate change, which is suppressing and distorting the country’s efforts to improve productivity of the agriculture sector as a whole, and having long-term implications if no adaptation measures are put in place.
In response to climate change challenges on food and nutrition security, the United Republic of Tanzania has been undertaking various efforts at the national level, including the development of the National Adaptation Programme of Action (2007), the National Climate Change Strategy (2012), the Agriculture Climate Resilience Plan (2014–2019), and the National Climate-Smart Agriculture Programme (2015–2025), together with the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (2015) submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The recently launched Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) guideline was framed according to these existing documents, reiterating the government’s commitment to make the agricultural sector climate-smart by 2030.
Hence the CSA guideline is an instructive tool that highlights key climate change and agricultural risks in the United Republic of Tanzania and provides information on mainstreaming climate change adaptation and mitigation objectives within rural development. More particularly, it provides guidance on how this could best be achieved through the implementation of the CSA approach, in line with other policies related to agriculture sectors, food and nutrition security, and climate change.
Framed in community-based and gender-sensitive approaches, it will help harmonise and bridge the services and knowledge provided by different stakeholders and support the governments’ efforts to facilitate the implementation and scaling up of CSA, and hence the actions related to agriculture sectors in the NDC of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Its goal is thus primarily to inform on the implementation of the CSA framework and to describe the CSA practices and technologies best suited for different regions and agro– climatic zones of the country.
Hence, operationalization of the CSA guideline is an important step towards achieving the global and national goals of sustainable agriculture production in a changing climate in the United Republic of Tanzania.