Tanzania: Critical Corporate Initiative: Climate Response Analysis for Adaptation (December 2021)


Executive summary

Tanzania’s agricultural production system is largely dependent on rainfall and is thus highly susceptible to variabilities in rainfall and temperature. An analysis of historic climatic trends depicts a scenario of high temperatures and uncertainty during the rainy season, which have resulted in recurrent floods and droughts at the national level. Future climatic projections show that unless effective mechanisms are put into place, these scenarios are likely to persist. With a projected 1-20C increase in temperature by 2050, warmer and hotter days are expected in every livelihood zone, especially in the central zone. Similarly, a 5-8% increase in rainfall is anticipated by 2050, with a projected increase of up to 13% in drought- and flood-prone areas. Substantial changes in rainfall are expected in the central and lake zones.

These changes expose the central, lake, and northern livelihood zones to climatic risks that affect the production and suitability of crops and livestock. The climate analysis shows that heat stress mostly affects the production of cattle and common bean, but with varying intensity, in every zone. The central zone has a 40% probability of heat stress occurrence by 2050. A suitability analysis shows that all three zones will become less suitable for bean production, with some areas becoming completely unsuitable for production. All three zones will continue to be suitable for rice production. No changes in maize suitability are expected. In addition to negatively impacting agricultural production, climatic hazards pose a livelihood threat to communities. For instance, there has been increased incidence of animal and human diseases, disappearance of indigenous crop species, drying up of water resources, and accelerated deforestation.

An economic analysis conducted using the IMPACT model projects that, despite climate-induced losses, improved production and yield will increase the availability and stability of Tanzania’s food supply until 2050. These increases are expected to decrease levels of hunger and undernourishment by increasing caloric availability and consumption. While these gains are in line with socioeconomic trends, they are due to rapid industrialization, technological innovation, and improving education levels rather than improving climatic conditions. On the contrary, gains will be suppressed by negative climatic trends that will prevent the agricultural sector from reaching maximum potential productivity.
Maize and other cereal crops face the gravest threat, although the production quantities and yields of all commodities modelled will be adversely impacted by climate change. The aforementioned gains may be distributed unevenly, leading to a disparity in areas of impoverishment. A geo-spatial hotspot analysis of eight vulnerability dimensions finds a high number of overlapping vulnerabilities of health, inequality, and food insecurity across every zone. In the absence of effective interventions, the current vulnerabilities suggest a prevalence of vulnerabilities in the future. This points to the urgency of implementing national-level agricultural and socio-economic development strategies at the zonal level.

Tanzania has strong institutional capacity and a solid policy base to help improve food and nutrition security and manage the impacts of climate change. However, the implementation of these policies at the zonal level is limited by weak links and coordination between institutions, a lack of human resource capacity, and small budgets for climate change initiatives. Although climate change is not the principal focus of WFP’s work in Tanzania, WFP still has the capacity to support the national government in implementing the climate change activities outlined in existing policies. Presently, WFP’s climate resilience programming in Tanzania is aligned with Strategic Outcome 3’s Activities 1 and 2 and Strategic Outcome 4’s Activity 1. These outcomes focus on value chain development, providing climate services like finance and extension services, and building national disaster and risk management capacities.

WFP needs to extend its scope of work to other geographical areas in Tanzania.
Currently, there are programmatic interventions on climate change that are strongly aligned with WPF’s Strategic Outcomes. These interventions need to be scaled up to the household, institutional, and policy levels for increased impact. This study’s recommendations identify climatesmart agriculture as a comprehensive approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Generally, the activities recommended prioritize improving productivity, providing climate information services, livelihood diversification, capacity building, investing in innovation hubs, and disaster-risk management. For the effective implementation of these recommendations,
WFP needs to form strong partnerships with government ministries involved with climate change, research institutions, international and local NGOs, the private sector, and academic institutions. There is also a need to mobilize climate change funds from alternative sources like the national government, global climate funds, international development partners, and the private sector.