Successful PhD Defence

Published on 23rd July 2021

Picture1.jpgOn 16rd July 2021,PhD candidate Rachel Zakayo successfully defended her PhD thesis. The Department would like to congratulate her for achieving the milestone in her academic career. Rachel zakayo worked as a research assistant at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). She joined the Sokoine University of Agriculture on 2017 for PhD Studies at the Department of Agricultural Extension and Community Development.

Rachel was supervised by Prof. Christopher Mahonge, and Dr. Rasel Madaha. Title of her Thesis is, 'Gender and Adaptation to Climate Variability among Paddy Smallholder Farmers in Kilosa District, Tanzania.' Below is a Summary of the Thesis>

Climate variability has caused serious effects to farmers. This include heavy rainfall, floods, scarce rainfall, pest and diseases and drought. This are the foremost constraints to agricultural productivity including paddy farming in Kilosa District in Tanzania. While many studies have been conducted on the adverse impacts of unpredictable and extreme weather events on agriculture, few studies have examined the differential vulnerabilities and adaptation practices of men and women in paddy farming communities in Kilosa. This study has filled this gap by carrying out an investigation and documenting adaptation practices to climate variability in Kilosa District, Tanzania. The study has focused on three objectives, which are to examine differences and similarities in adaptation practices to climate variability among paddy smallholder farmers; to evaluate factors that influenced climate adaptation to climate variability among women and men; to examine challenges faced by women and men smallholder paddy farmers in adapting to climate variability. Gender and Development Theory (GAD) and Action Theory of Adaptation were employed to understand how people can respond in innovative and unpredictable ways, which offer a space for social change. A qualitative research approach was employed in this study. The results of this study revealed that gendered vulnerabilities to extreme weather events are due to traditional gender roles in household and farming activities. As well women’s lack of access to assets and resources. Similarly, men and women adapt to climate variability according to traditional roles and gender relations. There are differential vulnerabilities and responses to the negative effects of climate variability of women and men. These differentials are influenced by women’s lack of access to assets and resources and slighter participation in making decisions that are related to farming. The study concludes that climate variability affects men and women differently. Furthermore, their adaptation practices are the same while implementation is different. The study recommends the need for formulation of gender-sensitive policies and programs in adaptation frameworks. Supportive institutional framework at the local, national and international levels is fundamental in enabling successful climate adaptations.


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