Adoption and Dissemination Pathways for Climate-Smart Agriculture Technologies and Practices for Climate-Resilient Livelihoods in Lushoto, Northeast Tanzania
Smallholder farmers in East Africa need information and knowledge on appropriate climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices, technologies, and institutional innovations in order to effectively adapt to changing climatic conditions and cope with climate variability. This paper assesses farmer adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices and innovation after being exposed to Farms of the Future Approach (FotF). First; we explore and assess the various CSA technologies and practices; including institutional innovations farmers are adopting. Second; we identify and document farmer learning and dissemination pathways that can enhance adoption of CSA technologies and practices. Third; we identify existing institutions that enhance adoption of CSA practices. We use household survey data, complemented by qualitative information from focus group discussions and key informant interviews. The results show farmers are adopting a variety of CSA technologies, practices, and institutional innovations to after participating in the FotF approach with use of improved crop varieties, agroforestry, and scientific weather forecast information cited as the main practices. To minimize their risks and reduce vulnerabilities, farmers are diversifying and integrating five to 10 CSA practices in one season. Matengo pits, SACCOs, and efficient energy stoves were adopted by very few farmers due to their high initial investment costs and unsuitability to the area. Ninety-eight percent of farmers reported that they receive agricultural information orally from a variety of sources including government extension workers, seed companies, researchers, traditional experts, neighbors, radio agricultural shows, religious groups, farmer groups, and family members. Lastly, farmers reported that the FotF approach is a useful tool that enabled them to interact with other farmers and learn new CSA practices and innovations. Suggested improvements to make on the FotF included include longer trip duration, increased number of farmer participants, and gender balance and age considerations to include youth.