Assessment of Climate Change Practices Among Arable Crop Farmers
Objectives of the study
The main objective of the research is to assess the impacts of climate change practices on yields of major food crops, understand the long term farmers‟ perceptions of climate change and analyze actual adaptation measures undertaken by arable crop farmers in Nigeria. Specifically, objectives
- To assess the impacts of rainfall and temperatures, floods, droughts and area harvested on yields of major arable crops in Nigeria
- To analyze the factors that influence farmers‟ perception of and adaptation to climate change and variability in Nigeria
- To determine the factors that influence choice of adaptation options by arable farmers.
Concept of Climate Change
Climate includes patterns of temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind and seasons. The term climate change affects more than just a change in weather; it refers to seasonal changes over a long period of time (www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/whatis.html). The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2009) defines climate change as a scientifically proven phenomenon that includes any change in the climate, whether due to its natural variability or as a result of human activity. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (UNFCCC) (1992) defines climate change as change which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activities that alter the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods. Climate change is a normal part of earth’s natural variability, which is related to interactions among the atmosphere, ocean, arid land, as well as changes in the amount of solar radiations reaching the earth (IPCC, 2007b).
The global climate is changing and this is a result of increased global warming mainly resulting from human activities. The last decade of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st have been the warmest period in the entire global temperature record, starting from the mid–19th century (IPCC, 2007b). Scientists have done lots of research on the energy from the sun and have ruled that out as a main cause for climate change. Also, lots of natural cycles have been identified in the climate such as El Nino, but none can be attributed to cause the relative big, long – term changes being observed. There is overwhelming and growing evidence that the warming is due to increasing amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, resulting from human activities – burning fossil fuels, changing land use pattern (www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-climate/guide/what-is-it/why).
Climate change is a global concern because the changes associated with it have the potential to alter ways in which people live their lives globally. These global changes not only threaten to deprive humans of their lands but also to end lives of living beings that cannot adapt to the chaotic weather the world is experiencing (Anonymous, 2010). Though climate change is a natural phenomenon that has always been dynamic and that varies globally in space and time (Ribot 1996), current concerns have arisen because of recorded human industrial and development activities of the past centuries that have caused changes over and above natural variations (IPCC, 2001). The implications and characteristics of climate change show that it is a multi-dimensional problem whose causes and effects are challenges to recent development initiatives. These challenges being posed possess the capacity to increase the already existing poverty situations across many countries of the world, affect more people generally thereby increasing the vulnerability of the poorer countries, and groups.
In this chapter, we would describe how the study was carried out.
An analysis of the social research methodologies suggests that survey is the handy tool for managers to collect primary data using questionnaire and interviews about the perceptions and attitudes of the respondents. “It is noted somewhere that questionnaire approach is the “most frequently used mode of observation in the social sciences because surveys are reportedly the excellent vehicles for measuring attitudes in large populations” (Sekaran, 2003:257).
Sources of Data
The data for this study were generated from two main sources; Primary sources and secondary sources. The primary sources include questionnaire, interviews and observation. The secondary sources include journals, bulletins, textbooks and the internet.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
In this chapter, the data collected through primary and secondary sources were presented and analyzed. The data collected in the field and from documentary sources relating to climate change in Nigeria
EDUCATIONAL LEVELS OF RESPONDENTS
There were variations in the level of education of respondents. These educational levels varied from primary, secondary, polytechnics and university as shows in table 4.1 below
Table 4.1: Education levels of respondents
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION
This sub-section provides a way forward on how to deal with the impact of climate change on crop yield and to increase arable farmers‟ awareness of climate change and adaptive capacity to climate change. The following recommendations could be helpful:
(1) As the majority of farmers predict climate change using indigenous techniques and perceive based on the own observation and farming experience and sometimes fail to plant on time, there is need to increase farmers‟ awareness of climate change through media (radio) and extension services at local levels to easy predict the occurrence of climate change events;
(2) More investment in irrigation and construction of terraces (both radical and progressive terraces) is needed to prevent and weaken the adverse effects that can be caused by climate change extreme events on lowlands (floods) and highlands (erosion and landslides) respectively;
(3) A large number of vulnerable rural farmers are poor and their adaptive capacity is limited. There is need to create more employment opportunities that enable them to raise their income and to provide relief services for them to be able to adapt to the impacts of climate change;
(4) More investment by the government need to be oriented not only in establishing adaptation measures but making these owned and maintained by farmers through their different mechanisms such as farmer cooperatives and other social capital mechanisms;
The result of this study shows that climatic condition on its exert an insignificant effect on arable crop cultivation. Finally, in this research work after careful analysis of collected data, the following findings were made:
floods and droughts. Results from the study illustrated that an increase in area harvested has a positive and significant on maize, cassava and Irish potato yields. Annual rainfall distribution found to have a positive and significant effect on beans, maize and sweet potato yields. But results from the model demonstrated that dummy variables (floods and droughts) had no impacts on crop yield. Change in minimum temperature had a positive and significant effect on Irish potato yield and a negative and significant impact on maize yield while a change in maximum temperature affected positively yield of sweet potato and had a negative effect on yields of beans, maize and Irish potato. However, results from the analysis, the first hypothesis stating that there is a significant impact of area harvested, rainfall, temperatures, floods and droughts on crop yields, climatic extreme events such as floods and droughts had no impacts on crop yields.
- Adebayo et al. 2012. “Farmers ‟ Awareness , Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Adamawa State , Nigeria.” British Journal of Arts and Social Sciences 9 (Ii): 104–15.
- Adger et al. 2009. “Are There Social Limits to Adaptation to Climate Change ?” Climate Change, 335–54. doi:10.1007/s10584-008-9520-z. AfDB. 2011. “The Cost of Adaptation to Climate Change in Africa.” Tunis, Tunisia. http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Project-and-Operations/Cost of Adaptation in Africa.pdf.
- AGRA. 2014. “Africa Agriculture Status Report 2014. Climate Change and Smallholder Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Nairobi, Kenya.
- Altieri and Koohafkan. 2008. Enduring Farms : Climate Change, Smallholders and Traditional Farming Communities. Calfornia, USA: University of calfornia.
- Amadou et al 2015. Comparing farmers’ perception of climate change and variability with historical climate data in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Ghana Journal of Geography Vol. 7(1), 2015 Pages 47 – 74. 1Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
- Apata. 2011. “Factors Influencing the Perception and Choice of Adaptation Measures to Climate Change among Farmers in Nigeria . Evidence from Farm Households in Southwest Nigeria.” Environmental Economics 2 (4).
- Ayinde et al. 2013. “Evaluation of the Effects of Climate Change on Rice Production in Niger State, Nigeria.” Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management 6: 763–73.
- Bizoza and Byishimo, 2013. “Agricultural Productivity and Policy Interventions in Nyamagabe District, Southern Province Rwanda”. Rwanda Journal, Series H: Economics and Management Vol. 1 No 1, 2013
- Blanc. 2012. “The Impact of Climate Change on Crop Yields in Sub-Saharan Africa.” American Journal of Climate Change 1 (1): 1–13.
- Burton et al. 2007. “Adaptation to Climate Change in the Context of Sustainable Development and Equity.” In , edited by Patwardhan and Soussana. Canada.
- Chambwera and Stage. 2010. “Climate Change Adaptation in Developing Countries : Issues and Perspectives for Economic Analysis.” London, UK.