Project Topics

VULNERABILITY AND ADAPTATION OF CROPS FARMERS TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN AGRICULTURAL ZONE

VULNERABILITY
AND ADAPTATION OF CROPS FARMERS TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN AGRICULTURAL ZONE

 

Department: Agriculture

M.Tech (Master’s
Project)

Price: #5,000

CHAPTER
ONE

1.0       INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background Information 

Agriculture remains the main source of
livelihood for rural communities in sub-Sahara Africa providing employment for
more than 60 percent of the population; contributing about 30 percent of gross
domestic product (GDP) and accounted for up to 55 percent of the total value of
Africas export (Sokona and Denton (2001). The World Bank (2000) observed that 70
percent of all Africans and nearly 90 percent of Africa’s poor work primarily
in agriculture. Climate change affects agriculture and agriculture also affects
climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) from different farming
practices (Maraseni, Mustaq, and Maroulis2009; Edwards and Harris,2009).

The term “climate change” often refers
to changes in climate which according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change IPCC (2007), are 90-95 percent likely to have been in part caused by
human action. It describes changes in the variability of average state of the
atmosphere over time scales, ranging from a decade to millions of years
(Adejuwon, 2004). Swings in the global climate pattern have aroused attention
at local, national and international levels (Onyeneke, 2010). Moreover, climate
change is expected to increase with increased frequency and intensity of
extreme weather conditions in Nigeria’s coastal and rainforest regions
(Babatunde, Ayobami and Mark, 2011). The implications for the region are that it
would generally experience wetter than average climate, more extreme weather
conditions, particularly erosion, sea level rise and floods (Onyeneke, Iruo,
and Ogboko,2012).

 Given
that agriculture and fishing remains the main sources of livelihood for most
rural communities in Nigeria’s coastal and rainforest regions, climate change
is expected to have greater negative impacts on poorer farm households as they
have the lowest capacity to adapt to change in climate conditions and more
vulnerable to vagaries that are climate induced (.Onyeneke, Iruo, and Ogboko 2012;
Onyeneke and Madukwe, 2010). Adaptation measures are therefore important to
help these communities to better face extreme weather conditions and associated
climate variations (Adger, Brown, Conway, and Hulme, 2003). Estimates by
Building Nigeria’s Response to Climate Change (BNRCC) (2011) suggest that, in
the absence of adaptation, climate change could result to loss of 6% and 30% by
the year 2050 (BNRCC, 2011). This loss is equivalent to N15 trillion (US$100 billion) and has the potential to
significantly contribute to reductions in negative impacts from changes in
climatic conditions as well as other changing socioeconomic conditions
(Kandlinkar and Risbey, 2000).

 According to the Inter Academy Council Report
(IACR) (2004), adverse climate change impacts are considered to be particularly
strong in countries located in tropical Africa that depend on agriculture as
their main source of livelihood. The challenge this poses affects sustainable
development on the continent. This challenge is composed of the likely impacts
on the ecosystem, agricultural production, and livelihoods. Generally, losses
in the agricultural sector due to climate change have economy wide
consequences, like loss in gross domestic output, a decline in the income and
the general deterioration on households’ welfare. Climate change is also
expected to exacerbate Africa’s struggles with strained water resources and
food security. Mendelsohn, Dinar and Dalfelt. (2000) affirmed that rising global
temperatures are expected to increase flooding in coastal areas, cause declines
in agricultural production, threaten biodiversity and the productivity of
natural resources, increase and exacerbate desertification. Thereby exerting a
disproportionately adverse impact on Africa’s agriculture-based economy. To
make matters worse, Africa has a low adaptive capacity due to its dependence on
rain fed agriculture, low levels of human and physical studies on the effects
of climate change on economic variables, estimated and a very high predicted
loss of income due to climate change through crop simulation experiments (Rosenzweig
and Parry, 1994).

 Nigeria, like all the countries in Sub-Sahara
Africa is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change (Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change IPCC 2007; Nigerian Environmental Study Team (NEST
2004). IPCC (2007) further noted that Nigeria specifically, ought to have been concerned
by climate change because of the country’s high vulnerability due to its long
(800km) coastline that is prone to sea-level rise and the risk of fierce
storms.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Climate change
which is attributable to natural climate cycle and human activities, has
adversely affected agricultural productivity in Africa (Ziervogel, Nyong,
Osman, Conde, Cortes, and Dowing, 2006). As the planet warms, rainfall patterns
shift and extreme events such as droughts, flood, and forest fires become more
frequent (Zoellick, 2009). This results in poor and unpredictable yields which
subject farmers to vulnerable events (United Nation Framework and Convention on
Climate Change  UNFCCC, 2007). Farmers
who constitute the bulk of the poor in Africa face challenges of tragic crop
failures, reduced agricultural productivity, increased hunger, malnutrition and
disease.

  Food crises in countries such as Nigeria are
reminders of the continuing vulnerability of the region to the vicissitudes of
climatic conditions. This is in large measure due to weak institutional
capacity, limited engagement in environmental and adaptation issues, and a lack
of validation of local knowledge (Adams et
al
. 1988, Royal society 2005; BNRCC, 2008) Accordingly, there is the need
to gain as much information as possible, and learn the positions of rural
farmers and their needs, on what they know about climate change in order to
offer adaptation practices that meet these needs (Apata, Samuel and Adeola,
2009). Specifically in West Africa, small changes in comparison to the normal
climatic factors can lead to climate extremes with disastrous consequences on
agriculture, animal resources, and the economy as a whole. Other phenomena such
as desertification, deforestation and in particular, migration of populations
as a result of poverty associated to climatic effects call for urgent
sensitization and actions for government and populations on climatic risk and
their mitigation; and also their integration into development strategies
(ECA,2008). The vulnerability of developing countries like Nigeria is worsened
by heavy reliance on renewable natural resources for livelihoods, employment
and incomes.

In
view of the foregoing, the following research questions are deemed appropriate:

i.                   
What are the socioeconomic
characteristics of crop farmers in the study area?

ii.                 
What is the level of awareness and the
perception of crop farmers about climate change phenomenon in the study area?

iii.               
What is the level of vulnerability of
crop farmers to the consequences of climate change in the study area?

iv.               
What are the indigenous and emerging
adaptation measures used by the crop farmers in the study area, and

v.                 
What are the factors affecting the
choice of adaptation measures selected by the farmers?

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The
main objective of the study is to analyse the vulnerability and adaptation of
crop farmers to climate change in Agricultural 
Zone 1 of Niger State, Nigeria. The specific objectives are to:

i.          describe the socioeconomic
characteristics of crop farmers in the study area; 

ii.         determine the level of awareness and
perception of crop farmers to climate change;

iii.        determine the  level of vulnerability of the farmers to the
effect of climate   change;

iv.        analyze the determinants of
vulnerability of crop farmers to the effect of climate change in the study
area;

v          identify and describe the adaptation measures
 used  by the crop farmers to mitigate the adverse
consequences of climate change, and

vi.        analyze 
the factors affecting  the choice
of  adaptation measures.

1.4   Hypotheses

The
following null hypothesis were tested in this study;                                                       
The following farmer-specific and institutional factors do not
significantly explain the vulnerability of farmers to climate change;                                                                
                                            

a) age   
b) gender  c) level of  education 
d)  access to credit  e ) membership of association and  f) access to warning information.                        

                                                                

1.5   Justification for the Study

Adverse climate change
impacts are considered to be particularly strong in countries located in
tropical Africa that depend on agriculture as their main source of livelihood.
Climate change influences crop production and have impacts on agriculture which
become a crucial challenge for sustainable development on the continent. The
challenge is composed of the likely impacts on the ecosystem services,
agricultural production and livelihoods. The socioeconomic characteristics of
crop farmers will provide insight on socio economic characteristics and
institutional factors significantly affecting the vulnerability of famers to
the policy makers to come up with appropriate policies on adaptation measures
that will match the attributes of farmers. Information on the level of
awareness and perception will guide the extension agency to come up with
effective extension service delivery that will help the farmers cope with and
adapt to climate change. The findings of the study on the vulnerability of
farmers to climate change will assist the policy makers to come up with
appropriate  policies  that 
will reduce level of vulnerability of crop farmers to climate change.
Farmers will also use the results as a handy guide to improve upon their resilience
to climate change phenomena. The findings will also serve as spring board for
the conduct of further research.

Till date, little attention had been devoted to
investigate the extent of vulnerability of crop farmers in Niger State Nigeria.
This is evidenced by a dearth of such studies which necessitated the conduct of
this study.