Full Length Research Paper

Factors influencing spatial and temporal trends in Lushoto’s agro biodiversity

Rosalyne Naa Norkor Baddoo*, Catherine Aloyce Masao


Agro biodiversity is a fundamental feature of biodiversity that helps to sustain the processes that support food security. This paper explores trends and various factors that influence variations in agrobiodiversity in Lushoto District, Tanzania. Four villages namely Boheloi, Mbuzii, Yamba and Migambo were purposively selected from different altitudes. Both primary and secondary data collection methods comprising of household interviews, literature reviews, field observations and Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRAs) were applied in this study. Five percent of farming households in each village was sampled randomly for household interviews. The data obtained were analyzed using both descriptive statistics and multinomial logit model. Findings from this study indicate that over the past 30 years, indigenous agrobiodiversity in Lushoto District is gradually decreasing as most of the landraces have been replaced with modern crop varieties. This appears to have been principally influenced by both personal and socio-economic characteristics of the respondents. Notable among such characteristics are education, off-farm income and marital status. The signals of climate change that were mentioned in the area were unpredictable rainfall patterns, recurrent droughts and increasing temperatures which had been so much evident during the last 30 years. As an adaptation strategy to the changing climate, farmers are choosing crop varieties that are well-suited to the prevailing conditions. This practice had thus resulted in the loss of some indigenous key crop varies such as the local maize, beans, Irish and sweet potatoes varieties. Thus there is a need for concerted efforts to ensure the effective management of agrobiodiversity in the area. This could help the farmers better adapt to climate change and safeguard indigenous species.

Key words: Agrobiodiversity, trends, Lushoto, Tanzania, Logit model.

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