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 AS  Vol.10 No.10 , October 2019
The Shift of Traditional Agroecosystems in the in Eastern Arc Catchments of Tanzania
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to identify the drivers of the shift of traditional agro-ecosystems and their implication on catchment resources management of Eastern Arc Catchments of Tanzania. Lower Mngeta and Upper Zigi water catchments are situated within Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. Household questionnaire, key informant interviews and focus group discussion were used for collecting primary data. The findings indicated that most of the participants (85.9% and 90.4% in Lower Mngeta and Upper Zigi catchments respectively) depend on subsistence rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods. However, there are significant changes in production as a result of land fertility deteriorating and negative climatic changes (seasonal shift). This has become a major challenge for most of the farmers. To cope with agro-ecosystem dynamics, farmers in the study areas use both traditional and modern strategies as illustrated in the results section. While tradition always reported to be inexpensive, some modern agro-ecosystem practices reported to cause siltation, killing of fish and herbal plants, easy rotting of seeds (for maize) and bad aroma (for rice)in spite of having a high rate of return. It was also reported that depletion of traditions and norms of conduct, accelerated by multi-cultural interaction from immigrants, have led to deterioration of traditional agriculture practices. Moreover, arrival of agriculture companies and introduction of spice farming was reported to have caused manpower imbalance, unequal distribution of natural resources and less diversity of indigenous plants. The study concludes that communities are much into economic opportunity derived from agro-ecosystem than stewarding it. The study recommends that the effort restoring catchment ecosystem should come from both traditional and modern strategies so as to harmonize and accommodate environmental, economic and traditional values.
Cite this paper: Kapinga, A. , Sangodoyin, A. , Ogunkoya, O. , Sulley, M. , Mbegallo, F. and Madamombe, G. (2019) The Shift of Traditional Agroecosystems in the in Eastern Arc Catchments of Tanzania. Agricultural Sciences, 10, 1343-1358. doi: 10.4236/as.2019.1010098.
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