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Production characteristics and strategies for adapting to the impacts of climate change on cassava whiteflies and viruses in Tanzania

  • Aregbesola, O.Z.
  • Uzokwe, V.N.E.
  • Adeloye, K.A.
  • Rapisarda, C.
  • Lund, O.
  • Sigsgaard, L.
  • Legg, J.
Publication Date
Dec 20, 2021
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Published online: 18 Jun 2021 / Cassava is Africa’s most important food security crop and sustains about 700 million people globally. Survey interviews of 320 farmers in three regions of Tanzania to identify their production characteristics, and interviews with 20 international whitefly/virus experts were conductedto identify adaptation strategies to lessen the impacts of cassava whiteflies and viruses due to climate change in Tanzania. Structured and pre-tested interview schedules were conducted using a multistage sampling technique. Most of the farmers (66.8%) produced cassava primarily for food, and relied mainly on their friends (43.8%) and their farms (41.9%) for cassava planting materials. Farmers significantly differed in their socio-economic and production characteristics except for gender and access to extension support (P < 0.01). A significant association was found between extension support, sources of planting materials, and reasons for growing cassava with both the control of cassava viruses and the control of whiteflies by the farmers. A significantly higher number of farmers controlled cassava viruses (38.1%) than cassava whiteflies (19.7%). The adaptation strategies most recommended by experts were: integrating pest and disease management programs, phytosanitation, and applying novel vector management techniques.The experts also recommended capacity building through the training of stakeholders, establishing monitoring networks to get updates on cassava pests and disease statuses, incorporating pest and disease adaptation planning into the general agricultural management plans, and developing climate change-pest/disease models for accessing the local and national level impacts that can facilitate more specific adaptation planning in order to enhance the farmers’ adaptive capacities.

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