Original Research

Cassava production as a climate change adaptation strategy in Chilonga Ward, Chiredzi District, Zimbabwe

Tambudzai Mupakati, Vincent I. Tanyanyiwa
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 9, No 1 | a348 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v9i1.348 | © 2017 Tambudzai Mupakati, Vincent I. Tanyanyiwa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 July 2016 | Published: 25 April 2017

About the author(s)

Tambudzai Mupakati, United Nations Development Programme, Strengthening National Capacity for Climate Change Programme, Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Zimbabwe
Vincent I. Tanyanyiwa, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe

Abstract

This study sought to pilot a range of long-term adaptation measures in the agriculture sector because of climate change shocks. Past droughts in Zimbabwe have had devastating environmental and socio-economic impacts in rural areas where livelihoods mainly depend on agriculture. Over the past few years, many parts of Zimbabwe have been experiencing extreme events. The study sought to address the following objectives to describe smallholder farmers’ knowledge of climate change variability and change in Chilonga Ward and to explore the potential of cassava production as a climate change adaptation strategy in Chiredzi. An assessment of the impact of cassava production on rural livelihoods as a climate change adaptation strategy was also done. Focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, desk research and observation were the tools used to collect data. The results show that cassava has an extensive root system that can penetrate poor soils which may not support crops like maize. Zimbabwe has to increase cassava production as its tubers can be value added to produce a range of products that include livestock feed and porridge.

Keywords

adaptation; cassava; climate change; drought; livelihoods

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