ADOPTION OF TECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE BY MAIZE FARMERS IN NORTH-WEST AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONE OF NIGERIA

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ADOPTION OF TECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE BY MAIZE FARMERS IN NORTH-WEST AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONE OF NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

In Nigeria, concerted efforts have been made by governments, non-governmental agencies and researchers to combat the menace of climate change on agricultural production. In pursuance of this noble objective, some technologies have been promoted by government and non-governmental agencies for adoption by farmers. This study examined the adoption of some of these technologies among maize producers in North-West agro-ecological zone of Nigeria. Data for the study were collected through questionnaire that was administered on 159 purposively-selected maize farmers using a multi-stage sampling procedure. The data were analyzed using frequencies, percentages, Z-test and linear regression. The findings revealed that the perceived most severe effects of climate change of maize production were severe drought (89.4%), too much rain/flood (71.8%) and increased weed incidence (66.6%). The most common local strategies employed by farmers against climate change were the use of organic waste (22.6%), crop diversification (19.8%) and leaving crop residues in the field (19.2%). The results also showed that the promoted technologies against climate change that farmers were most aware of were mixed cropping (100%), mixed farming (94%), optimum use of organic waste (94%) and crop rotation (93%), and those they were least aware of were mulching (29.6%), minimum tillage (16.4%) and water harvesting (9.4%).The most adopted of the technologies against climate change were mixed farming (96%), mixed cropping (95%) and the optimum use of organic waste (90%), and the least adopted were minimum tillage (13.2%), afforestation (11.3%) and water harvesting (5.7%).The most important sources of information on the promoted technologies were radio (53%), friends and relatives (23%), and extension agents (19%) and the least important sources were newspapers (1.7%), agro-dealers (1.5%), television (1.4%), field days (1.3%), demonstrations (0.4%) and agricultural extension bulletins (0.2%). The factors that significantly influenced adoption of the promoted technologies were household size (0.060), labour availability (0.427), membership of association (0.064) information sources (0.414), compatibility (0.056), complexity (-0.047), relative advantage (0.046) and cost of technology (-0.205). The Z-test results revealed that there was a significant positive effect of adoption of the promoted technologies on adopters‟ output, income and level of living. The most important constraints to adoption of the promoted technologies against climate change were (i) high cost of the technologies (34.2%); (ii) problem of pests and diseases (22.1%); and (iii) complex nature of the technologies (19.0%). Some of the recommendations made were that policy makers and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector should promote the use of demonstrations, field days and extension bulletins in the dissemination of the promoted technologies. Given that high cost of some of the technologies was a constraint to their adoption, there is the need to encourage farmers to form cooperative societies to enable them have easier access to credit facilities and other inputs needed for effective adoption of the promoted technologies.

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