Impacts of climate variability and change on agriculture in Rwanda
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Climate variability and change have severe environmental, economic and social impacts in Rwanda particularly, where livelihoods of population depend on rain-fed agriculture. Droughts and floods are the major climatic events a:frecting crop production in Rwanda In addition, information related to weather, such as seasonal forecast, does not get to the farmers accumtely and in time. The overall objective of this study was to assess the potential impacts of climate variability and change on agriculture in Rwanda Daily and monthly rainfall and temperature data (1961-1993 for Gisenyi and Zaza stations; 1%0-1993 for Kansi station; 1971-1993 for Kamembe station and 1971-2010 for Kigali station) were used to study variations in climate over Rwanda. The daily data were used to determine the onset. cessation of rains and dry spells within the growing seasons. The monthly time series of rainfall, temperature and annual yield data for five crops namely, bean, banana, cassava, maize and sorghum were plotted. The study also investigated the perceptions of furme.rs and experience on climate variability and change impacts on crop production, copmg and adaptation mechanisms. This was done tbrgugb randomized selected areas and a sample size of 579 households was viid'/The criterion of selection of those households was based on the period of stay in the area. Rainfall was found to be increasing dining MAM season for stations like Gisenyi, Kamembe and Zaza, and decreasing during the 0 D season fOT all the stations, while temperature was generally increasing. Crops like cassavaswas found to be negativefy correlated with rainfall in Kibungo., sorghum and bean were positively correlated with rainfall in Kansi and Kamembe, respectively.