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1.0 Introduction

Climate Change is currently a serious debate in national and international level. The rapid effects of climate change to human livelihood have driven to various discussion and suggestions on how this problem can be tackled. Climate change adaptation strongly came in the consideration especially in developing countries where the rate of vulnerability is higher than developed countries. Like other countries in the East African region, Tanzania is highly dependent on climate-vulnerable sectors such as small-scale farming and pastoralism, forestry, fisheries and tourism, which are highly affected by extreme weather events, like unpredictable change of seasons, droughts and floods. Although, the country has recorded sustained growth of more than 6 per cent since 2007 (National Bureau of Statistics-NBS (2014) and has graduated to become a middle-income country (MIC) in 2020, the. challenges remain in the areas of sustainable inclusive growth, climate resilience, rural community prosperity, sustainable environment and natural resources use especially to the smallholder farmers in rural areas. Different methods have been put in place to adapt to the effects of climate change in the agriculture sector. Among others is the beekeeping, which also constitutes the key adaptation option to farmers in the country, especially whose agricultural activities are highly affected by climate change.

1.2 Economic importance and contribution of Beekeeping on adaptation in the agriculture sector

Beekeeping is one of the economic activities considered in environmental conservation and natural resource management. As presented by the National Beekeeping Policy of Tanzania (1998) Tanzania holds the second position as a producer of honey in Africa after Ethiopia, capable to produce 138,000 tons of honey annually. However, due to different challenges, Tanzania produces only 4,860 tons and still remains to be the second producer in the continent. It is estimated that Tanzania generates about 1.2 million USD annually for the economy from the sales of honey and beeswax.

As climate change adaptation defined by United Nations, it is all actions that reduce the negative impact of climate change, while taking advantage of potential new opportunities. Beekeeping is considered an adaptation strategy by the government of Tanzania and officially the policy was formed in 1998 for the purpose of increasing efficiency in this sector. Beekeeping also generates alternative employment to the citizens of Tanzania especially those who face drought and poor rainfall season due to climate change. The sector also helps in Forests and other natural resources management which are also instrumental in adaptation option in the agriculture sector.

Communities living within protected areas are highly trained to practice beekeeping instead of depending in agricultural activities which are not resilient enough to the changing climate and also threatens environmental integrity.

3.0 Demonstrated practices on beekeeping as an adaptation to climate change in Agriculture

Iramba district is one among six districts forms Singida Region characterized by semi-arid conditions with minimal rainfall season. The long period of dry season this also contributed by climate change affects the effectiveness of agriculture activities. In order to sustain their living, farmers (smallholders) in Iramba embarked on conducting as (i) an alternative economic activity and (ii) a source of food security reason. (Yohana & Saria, 2020). In a study conducted by Yohana & Saria, (2020), an approximate of 2 out of 10 small holder farmers in Iramba shifted to beekeeping for income security, 1 out of 5 shifted to beekeeping for medicinal requirements and 1 out of 25 shifted to beekeeping for food security. Farmers also recommended that beekeeping is more profitable compared to maize and other crops.

Statistics from this study proves that beekeeping is taken as the substitute of Agriculture when the society is experiencing changes in availability of rainfall but also, it’s a source of income to them (ibid).

In Kisarawe District, which is 1 of 8 district in Coastal region of Tanzania also is one among the places where Beekeeping is mentioned as one of their economic activity. Kisarawe weather is characterized by two short rainfall season starts from October to December while long one starts from March to early June. (District Council Investment profile, 2014). In a field study conducted by the Forum on Climate Change (FORUMCC, 2022), it was revealed that Beekeeping was introduced into the district to support economically the villagers who were experiencing crop failure due to uncertainty of enough rainfall. According to the beekeeping officer at Kisarawe district, Mrs. Fabiola Msalale, the practice has supported majority of the smallholder famer’s livelihood in the ongoing climate variability and changes.

According to Mrs. Fabiola, the changes in rainfall availability left most of the people in the district with no other option of economic activity, a situation which resulted into declining food supply. The officer mentioned that the district have created a number of groups of 1-10 people and give them beekeeping knowledge and assistance in implementation of beekeeping. But also Mrs. Fabiola added that “the introduction of beekeeping in Kisarawe district is also a way of protecting natural vegetation cover available in Kisarawe as well as minimizing the rate of deforestation. When Agriculture became inefficient, some of the villagers shifted in destruction of the forest buy doing charcoal burning and cutting of trees for selling fire woods which means the villagers were creating more space for climate change impacts to hit more. She explained

4.0 Conclusion

Beekeeping is currently emerging as a source of income for rural communities in less developed countries due to its economic benefits from the products. From the experience of different parts of Tanzania like Iramba and Kisarawe districts it shows the livelihood of vulnerable small holder farmers can be sustainable and resilient to climate change impacts if more focus is directed on beekeeping as an adaption option to reduce the impacts.

Beekeeping Sector must therefore be well established not only as a natural resources conservation action, but also as among the economic activities which possess multiplier effects when used as adaptation action in the agricultural dependent communities. More research and studies must be conducted to solve the issue of pests and diseases and inform more improvement and undertakings to make beekeeping an effective adaptation actions the country continues to experience the effects of climate change.

5.0 Reference

Director, D. E. (2015, May).Kisarawe District Investment profile . Retrieved August 3rd , 2022, from https://Kisarawedc.go.tz

IPCC (2021). The Sixth assessment Report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Switzerland: IPCC. Saria, z. E. (2020). Assessment of beekepinh in Iramba district.

United republic of Tanzania(URT), V. P. (2021). National climate change response strategy 2021-2026. Dodoma,Tanzania: Government publisher.

United republic of Tanzania(URT), V. P. (2021). National environmental policy. Dodoma: Government publisher.

United republic Of Tanzania(URT), (1998). National beekeeping policy. Dar Es Salaam,Tanzania: Ministry of natural resources and tourism:Government publisher

Yanda, P. Z. (2015). Climate change implication for management and use of agricultural biodiversity resource in Africa. Environment and ecology research vol 3, 35-43 National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 2014).

 

It is a non-for-profit, member-based - of over 80 diverse organizations across Tanzania committed to work on climate change issues in Tanzania and beyond.

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