Building a climate-smarter Tanzania

Share this to :

In a climate change scenario, a team of researchers and scholars from SUA, UCPH, IRRI, TARI, and KALRO are working to ensure East and Southern Africa’s food security through spatiotemporal mapping, identifying eligible rice lines, and developing climate-smart rice varieties.

“Raining and flooding are not common during this time of the year.”, Dr. Susan Nchimbi Msolla, Professor in Plant Breeding and Genetics at the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) noted as she welcomed the delegation of the Climate-smart African Rice Project Team in SUA’s Morogoro Campus. “But look, it’s raining.”, she points at the ongoing drizzle outside the venue.

“If it is raining a lot, then it is considered a wet season. Otherwise, we experience extreme heat and drought.”, elaborated IRRI Assistant Scientist Rehema Kwayu. This meant that farmers and rice researchers followed a single-season cropping style. Rehema is currently managing pilot rice breeding plots in IRRI’s office based in Dakawa, Tanzania. Because of the frequent rainfall, she said that it would be ideal for rice farmers and researchers to focus on varieties that can survive heavy rainfall and flooding. Unfortunately, this locally developed flood-tolerant variety does not exist yet in the country.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that climate change is the leading cause of the increase in the frequency and intensity of not only rainfall but also droughts in Tanzania. This has become an issue for rice farmers in Tanzania since current varieties are not yet fully capable of surviving flooding and extended submergence.

The IMF also reported that the sea level in the coastal zone of Tanzania is expected to rise as a result of global warming so on top of the heavy rainfall for the past months, crops…

Share this to :