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EFFECTS OF CLIMATE ON ARABLE CROP FARMERS’ PRODUCTIVITY, FOOD SECURITY AND ADAPTATION STRATEGIES IN NIGERIA
The study analyzed the effects of climate change on arable crops’ productivity, food security and adaptation strategies in Nigeria. It specifically ranked climate change risks affecting farmers in Nigerian agro-climatic zones; estimated the effects of climate factors on farm productivity (yield and net revenue variability); determined the effects of climate and socioeconomic variables on the level of household food security; ascertained the influence of farmers’ perception of climate change’s effects and household characteristics on choice of adaptation technologies adopted in coping with climate variability. It also evaluated the influence of gender on level of adoption of climate change adaptation technologies by the farmers. Five null hypotheses were tested. The study relied mainly on institutional and primary data for its analysis. Data were obtained using a set of structured questionnaire administered in a multi-stage, stratified random sampling manner on arable crop farmers (maize, rice, cassava, yam and cowpea farmers). Sixty (60) farmers each were randomly selected from 5 states in each of the five agro-climatic zones in Nigeria giving a total sample size of 300 farmers. Data collected were analyzed using Kendall’s W statistics, Ricardian model, OLS (three functional forms), Heckman’s Probit Selectivity Model, Gross Margin, Per Capita Household Food Consumption Expenditure and ANOVA. Soil nutrients loss (x̅ = 2.12), flood ( x̅ = 2.59) and increased temperature (x̅ = 2.50) were the most risky climate change factors in Swampy Forest, Tropical Forest, and Guinea Savannah zones respectively. In the Sudan and Sahel Savannahs, the most risky threat was drought (x̅ = 1.53 & 1.72 respectively). Five factors, namely, rainfall and temperature variations, planting materials costs, household size and labour cost exerted significant (0.05) effects on level of gross margins. Their elasticities were 1.20, 8.22, 0.11, 0.10 and 0.12, respectively. Rainfall, temperature, planting materials’ cost, gender, farmers’ age, years of formal education, household size and cost of labour significantly (0.05) influenced yield. Their elasticities were 2.61, 1457.25, 0.35, 2.71,-6.83, 130.03, 484.31 and 0.01, respectively. Rainfall, temperature, personal income and educational attainment significantly (0.05) determined food security with respective elasticities of 0.75, -10.96, 0.19 and -2.34. Food security index varied significantly (0.05) across agro-climatic zones. Extension contact, gender of the head of household, temperature and rainfall levels significantly (0.05) determined the decision to adapt to climate change. Their Z estimates were 5.75, 5.30, 2.32 and -9.50, respectively. Perception of climate change effect was significantly (0.05) influenced by education and agricultural extension access. Mean annual rainfall, temperature and location significantly (0.05) determined the level of adoption of climate change adaptation strategies by the farmers with elasticities of -0.70, -8.84 and -6.66, respectively. Gender exerted no significant effect on the level of adaptation to climate change. The rest four null hypotheses were rejected. Seven recommendations were made to address the issues found in the study. These included the need to resettle displaced farmers, promote investment on irrigation, provide weather stations to farmers and early warning information, capacity building of farmers, investing in research and gender mainstreaming in climate change policies.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page – – – – – – – – – – -i
Table of Contents – – – – – – – – – – vi
List of Tables – – – – – – – – – – ix
List of Figures – – – – – – – – – – x
Abstract – – – – – – – – – – – xi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background Information – – – – – – — – 1
Statement of the Problem – – – – – – – – 5
Objectives of the Study – – – – – – – – 10
Research Hypotheses – – – – – – – – 11
Justification of the Study – – – – – – – – 11
Limitations of the Study – – – – – – – – 13
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
Climate Change Risks Affecting Farmers in Nigeria – – – – — 15
Climate Change Projections for West African and other Sub-Saharan Regions 16
Influence of Climate-factors on Farm Yield and Net Revenue Variability 19
Effects of Climate Variability and Socioeconomic Variables on Household
Food Security 20
Socioeconomic Factors Influencing Choice of Adaptive Strategies Used in Adapting
to Climate Change’s Negative Effects 22
Theoretical Framework 24
Analytical Framework 30
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Area of Study 44
3.2 Data Collection Method 46
3.3 Sampling Plan 47
3.4 Data Analysis Technique 48
3.4.1 Empirical models for objective ii 49
3.4.2 Empirical Model for objective iii 51
3.4.3 Empirical model for objective iv 52
3.4.4 Empirical model specification for objective v 53
3.4.5 Test of hypotheses 54
CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
4.1. Climate Change Risks Affecting Arable Crop Farmers in Nigeria and their
4.2 Influence of Climate-Factors on Farm Productivity (Yield and Net Revenue)
4.3 Effects of Climate Variability and Farmers’ Socioeconomic Attributes on Level
of Household Food Security among Crop Farm Households in Nigeria 70
4.4. Influence of Climate Change and Socio-Economic Determinants on Crop Farmers’
Choices of Adaptive Technologies to Cope With Felt and Actual Climate Change
Effects in Nigeria 75
4.5 Gender effects and other Socio-Economic Determinants of Level of Adoption
of Climate Change Adaptation Technologies by Arable Crop Farmers in Nigeria 78
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary 81
5.2 Conclusion 82
5.3 Recommendations 84
5.4 Contributions to Knowledge 86
5.5 Recommendations for Further Research 88
1.1 Background of the Study
Climate change refers to any variation in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, 2001a; 2001b). Climate change in the form of higher temperatures, reduced rainfall and increased rainfall variability, reduces crop yields and threatens food security in low income based economies (FAO, 2007). The specific effects of climate change risks on agriculture and natural resources as profiled by the World Bank (2008; 2010) include: crop failures as a result of high temperature and low rainfall; increased land degradation (erosion, desertification, leaching, flooding. poor siltation) which affects arable land for farming; alteration of vegetation structure from thick forest into thin forest and shrubs; greater incidence of alien diseases and pests as a result of changes in temperature and humidity; continuous loss of non-timber forest products; complete dry out of some rivers, sometimes making water for household activities scarce to mention but a few.
The world leaders have made several attempts to address the problem of climate change arising from increase in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, especially CO2 emission. The international political response to climate change began with the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992. The UNFCCC sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference” with the climate system. The Convention, which entered into force on 21 March 1994, now has 195 parties. In December 1997, delegates to the third session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Kyoto, Japan, agreed to a Protocol of the UNFCCC that commits industrialized countries and countries in transition to a market economy to achieve emission reduction targets. These countries, known as Annex I parties under the UNFCCC, agreed to reduce their overall emissions of six greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels between 2008-2012 (the first commitment period), with specific targets varying from country to country (United Nations, 1998). The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005 now has 193 parties. At the end of 2005, the first steps were taken to consider long-term issues. Convening in Montreal, Canada, the first session of the COP-11 agreed to consider long-term cooperation under the convention through a series of four workshops known as “the Convention Dialogue,” which continued until COP 13 i.e. the Bali Roadmap in 2007. Since then, other conventions that have shaped global approach to solving the problem of climate change were held in Copenhagen, Denmark (2009), Cancun, Mexico (2010) and most recently, in 2011, three official UNFCCC negotiating sessions were held in the lead-up to Durban (UNFCCC COP 17). The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban (COP 17), South Africa, opened on Monday morning, 28 November 2011 (UNFCCC, 2012). Thereafter there was another conference in 2012, Rio+20 Summit launched ‘‘Sustainable Development Goals’’ and laid down “the ground-breaking guidelines on applying green economy and growth policies as useful tools in advancing sustainable development and ending poverty” (Zhukang, 2012 in Nhamo, 2012).
Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET, 2012a) reported that in 2012 (the year in review by this present research), rainfall amounts were normal to above normal levels with high intensity rainfall duration in some occasions leading to flooding during the months of July, August and September. It is important to note that for the first time since 2008, the northeast had rainfall more than normal values in more than ten consecutive years. Widespread flooding peaked between September and mid-October across the country and was particularly severe in the north central and coastal states. Nigeria experienced the worst flooding in 2012 for more than a century. The report also noted that hot season in 2012 was warmer than normal in the north but normal in the south except over the extreme southeast which was cooler than normal. Preliminary reports on the agricultural sector by NIMET indicated that out of the major food crops (yam, cassava, maize, sorghum and rice), yam would be the most affected, followed by rice and and cassava. States mostly affected by the flooding were Kogi, Adamawa, Delta and Bayelsa States. Storm destroyed infrastructures leading to disruption of socioeconomic activities.
Climate variability and change are sources of risk to farmers. According to FAO (2010) uncertainty and risk go hand in hand with farming. They are a pervasive feature of the farm environment. How to handle the risks often associated with uncertainty is the most difficult aspect of farm-system planning and management, FAO maintained. The variability in yield and income due to risk can be factored or incorporated into the farm schedule so that such risks can be minimized by measures designed to alter production plans (risk mitigation). Global warming and its attendant consequence of climate change is becoming a major source of worry in most economic activities globally (Morton, 2007). Farm activities are no exception to the influences of environmental issues. According to Samuelson and Nordhaus (2005) none of the environmental issues is so worrisome to scientists as the threat of global warming from the greenhouse effect.
The vulnerability of Nigerian agricultural sector to climate change is of particular interest to policy makers because agriculture is a key sector in the economy accounting for between 60 -70 percent of the labour force and contributing between 30-40 percent of the nations’ GDP (Ajetomobi, Abiodun & Hassan, 2010). The sector is also the source of raw materials used in several processing industries as well as a source of foreign exchange earnings for the country.
The growing importance of arable crops especially roots and cereals to Nigerian economy is could be inferred from their contribution to agricultural growth in the past years and their forecasted contribution to agricultural growth from 2009 – 2017 as indicated by Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). In 2008 cereals’ share in agricultural GDP was 25.9 percent while root crops contributed 31.6 percent. With a 9.5 percent growth rate in agriculture, Nigeria can expect cereals to contribute 30.9 percent to agriculture GDP from 2009 -2017 (Diao, Nwafor and Alpuerto, n.d.).
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Nigerian Strategy Support Programme (Nkonya et al, n,d,) indicated that cereals, roots and tubers dominate Nigerian crop production and that Nigeria is the world’s leading producer of cassava, yams and cowpea. They however noted that their productivities were below potential yields. It was evidenced from their report that their productivities including profitabilities varied across three broad agro-ecological zones of the country. This variation in agro-ecological zones raises a question as to whether climate variability across agro-climatic regions could be associated with the productivity differentials of cereals observed in the country. IFPRI (2009) also asserted that Nigeria was characterized by high reliance on food imports amidst growing level of malnutrition across the country with rural areas being especially vulnerable to chronic food shortages. These are in spite of the fact that apart from being a major source of staples in Nigeria, empirical nationwide survey carried out by Nwafor Eboh, Chukwu and Amuka (2011) indicated that maize, rice, millet and sorghum yields’ growth could result in growth of real household incomes of the farmers by 4.6%, 6.3%, 2.4% and 3.4% respectively. The study affirmed that cereals yield growth could have significant positive effect on poverty reduction in Nigeria. The contributions of cereals to Nigerian economy since 2010 to 2013 in summarized form indicates that, in order of importance, maize, guinea corn, millet and rice were the most important cereals in terms of contribution to Nigerian GDP. These, respectively contributed an average of N1001.641billion (≈ US$6.260 billion); N656.606 (≈ US$4.104 billion), N543.304 (≈ US$3.396 billion) and N418.543 (≈ US$2.616 billion) to Nigerian GDP annually from 2010 to 2013 (CBN, 2013). Given the glaring importance of cereals documented in the foregoing, it would be worthwhile to assess the threat posed by climate change, a growing global issue, to the productivity of these important crops with a view of making innovative policy recommendations that will build farmers’ resilience and adaptive capacities of cereals growers.
The issue of climate change threat on staple crops productivity has been widely documented by various researchers (Onoja and Achike, 2014; Onoja, 2014, Ayinde, 2014 and Yaro, 2010).
Though there is evidence of increase in food crop production generally in Nigeria, the nation is not self-sufficient in production of any food crop except cassava (Ajetomobi, Abiodun & Hassan, 2010). The question remains therefore as to whether the production level will ever meet the demand level given the rate of population growth in the country. Also, the change in production due to impact of climate change will remain an important research focus just as adaptation measures needed to improve the resilience of the farmers against climate change are also very crucial. It is against the foregoing background that this study was designed to study the effects of climate factors on arable crop farming’s productivity, food security and adaptation strategies adopted by small-scale farmers in Nigeria to adapt to the harsh effects of climate change.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Recent studies confirm that Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate variability and change and low adaptive capacity. Some adaptations to current climate variability have been taking place; however, this may be insufficient for future changes in climate (IPCC, 2007d). It had been noted that the high dependence of the economies and rural people of Sub-Sahara Africa upon rain-fed agriculture, the prevalence of poverty, food insecurity and limited development of institutional and infrastructural capacities make coping with natural climate variability a perennial challenge (Derresa, Hassan & Poonyth, 2005; TerrAfrica, 2009). Sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to face the largest challenges regarding food security as a result of climate change and other drivers of global change (Easterling et al, 2007). The World Bank (2010), FAO (2010) and Madzwamuse, (2010) indicated that West Africa’s population which resides in rural areas with livelihoods largely dependent on agriculture are highly vulnerable to climate change effects. Agriculture accounts for 30 percent of African GDP (Madzwamuse, 2010) and as earlier observed, is one of the most sensitive and vulnerable sectors to climate change in Africa.
With nearly 70 percent of Nigeria’s population dependent on agriculture and the sector contributing nearly 40 percent of the country’s GDP, Nigeria remains vulnerable to climatic variability and long term climate change (Ajetomobi, Abiodun; Hassan, 2010; & Madzwamuse, 2010). Madzwamuse further added that a decline in rain fed agriculture could be as high as 50 percent in some parts of Nigeria. Unfortunately NIMET (2012a) did not offer much hope. NIMET report indicated that Nigerian climate had shown considerable temporal and spatial shifts in its variability and change making extreme climate and weather event (drought, flood, heat waves, ocean surges, etc) a more regular event. Eboh et al (2005) observed that, while data limitations made it difficult to estimate cost of possible crop land degradation, the historic crop yield data showed that economic cost of degradation and poor management of renewable natural resources was at least 6.4 percent of GDP in Nigeria. They found that the annual cost of yield decline as a result of environmental or land degradation from 1995-2004 to Nigeria was estimated at N210 billion. More than 60 percent of this cost was attributed to roots and tubers.
Although recently, climate change issues are receiving a lot of empirical and documentary attention, especially as they affect rural areas of developing countries, there have been relatively insufficient discussions engaging with the science of climate change impact on agriculture and with the specificities of smallholder and subsistence systems (Morton, 2007). Morton feared that smallholder and subsistence farmers will suffer impacts of climate change that will be locally specific and hard to predict. Hence he recommended that knowledge of responses to climate change needed to be extended to the study of more crops, livestock, and wild species of interest to smallholders and subsistence farmers. Kofi Annan opined that Africa, which is hardest hit by climate change and food insecurity, can be part of a global solution to combat climate change (Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, GFSCC, 2010). He stressed the importance of small holder farmers in finding solution to climate change problems in the farms. The uncertainty associated with climate variability is a disincentive to investment and adoption of agricultural technologies and market opportunities, prompting the risk-averse farmer to favour precautionary strategies that can buffer against climatic extremes over activities that are more profitable on average (Barrett et al., 2007).
It had been predicted that many farmers in Africa are likely to experience net revenue losses as a result of climate change, particularly as a result of increased variability and extreme events (TerrAfrica, 2009). According to Sha, Fischer and van Velthuizen (2009) the adverse consequences of climate change (which includes damage on arable lands, livelihoods, water and biodiversity resources) will take an irreplaceable toll on food production and food security especially in developing countries which have a low capacity to cope and adapt to these challenges. Sha, Fischer and van Velthuizen (2009) noted that while the international community had focused on climate change mitigation, the issue of adaptation to climate change is equally pressing. Klein et al (2007) warned that even the most stringent mitigation efforts cannot avert further impacts of climate change in the next few decades which makes adaptation unavoidable. Thus a study that will expose the process and drivers of adaptation to identified effects of climate change as this is timely.
Weather events have been found on a scientific basis to be changing (IPCC, 2007). In Nigeria reports have affirmed deviation of mean annual temperature from its historic pattern (Nigerian Environmental Study/action Team, NEST, 2003 & Odjugo, 2010). The temperature anomalies buttressed the facts that global warming is unequivocal and climate change signal is stronger as from the 1970s. Within the 105 years, temperatures increased by 1.2°C in the coastal cities of the Niger Delta and 2°C in the northern extreme of Nigeria, the reports stressed. A mean air temperature increase of 1.7°C was observed in Nigeria for the past 107 years. The current available evidence shows that Nigeria, like most parts of the world, is experiencing the basic features of climate change.
Previous studies by scholars including Dinar et al. (1998); Seo & Mendelsohn (2008); Mall et al (2006) and Cline (2007) have shown a significant effect of change in climatic factors on average crop yield. While many studies have examined the impact of climatic factors on mean crop yield, not many studies to the best knowledge of this researcher. However, Kingwell (2006) and Tol (2008) empirically decomposed the major sources of farm risks under stress of climate variability in the developing countries (as Nigeria). Enete et al (2011) observed that the biggest effect of climate change in the South West region of Nigeria was reduced farm yield and income, drying up of streams/rivers, reduction in storage quality of crops, loss of pastureland/vegetation and destruction of wildlife ecosystem. Their result was based on farmers’ perception of climate change effects but not from an unbiased observer’s report. There is a need to improve on such findings in a more quantitative manner especially with regards to yield and income loss and the inherent risks for more evidence based policy making.
Onyeneke and Madukwe (2010), while citing series of literatures, noted that only few attempts have been made to study farm level adaptation methods in the rainforest zones of Africa (NMSA, 2001; Nhemachena & Hassan, 2007; Deressa, 2007; Nwajiuba, Onyeneke & Munonye,2008; Deressa et al., 2008; Yesuf, Difalce, Deressa, Ringler & Kohlin., 2008; & Gbetibouo, 2009 in Onyeneke & Madukwe, 2010). In Nigeria, Enete and Amusa (2010) discussed the challenges of agricultural adaptation to climate change in Nigeria, but the study was based on review of relevant literature thus leaving a gap for more empirical approach to the study.
Enete et al (2011) made further attempts to investigate the most cost-effective and sustainable indigenous climate change adaptation practices in South East Nigeria but studies covering wider area such as Nigerian agro-climatic zones and several arable crops simultaneously appear not to have been documented yet. Umoh and Eketekpe (2010) attempted to study climate change adaptation measures by wetland farmers in Niger Delta region of Nigeria (a rainforest belt) but did not study any other State beyond Bayelsa out of the nine states (and two agro-ecological zones) which make up the Niger Delta. The study focused only on a single Local Government Area. The few empirical research works on economic effects of climate change on agriculture (example Nwajiuba, Onyeneke & Munonye, 2008; Ajetomobi et al, 2010; Onyeneke & Madukwe, 2010; Amos & Adeleke, 2010) are crop and location specific hence could not give the regional variations in climate change effects parameters faced by diverse crop farmers over major agro-climatic zones in Nigeria. These have left some gap in research to be filled especially in the aspect of carrying out a more comprehensive study that will encompass most of the agro-climatic regions of Nigeria so as to actually measure climate change’s effects on crop yield/revenue variabilities, food security and adaptation technologies being adopted by the diverse farmers in Nigeria.
In addition to the wider coverage of the major agro-climatic zones of the country for study and more in-depth risk analysis faced by farmers this present work will improve knowledge of the effects of climate variability on larger number of important food crops’ productivities and their respective adaptation strategies that were erstwhile left unstudied.
It has been observed that responses to climate change tend to focus on scientific and economic solutions rather than addressing the vitally significant human and gender dimensions (Bridge, 2013). For climate change responses to be effective, thinking must move beyond these limited approaches to become people-focused and focus on the challenges and opportunities that climate change presents in the struggle for gender equality, the report added. The current thinking is that both women’s and men’s needs and knowledge need to be taken into account and climate change policy making institutions and processes at all levels should not be biased towards men or women. In addition the broad social constraints that limit women’s access to strategic and practical resources no longer exist. This cutting edge pack advocates for a transformative approach in which women and men have an equal voice in decision-making on climate change and broader governance processes (Bridge, 2013 & African Economic Research Consortium, 2011). This work intends to make contributions to this emerging discourse as well as shed light on the gender dimension of climate change adaptation in Nigeria.
The major worry of this research is on how to find solutions to the lingering problem of food insecurity and low productivity in arable crop farms in Nigeria whose farm production systems largely depend on rain-fed agriculture believed to be vulnerable to climate variability even as the farmers lack the ability to adapt.
Against the foregoing backdrop this study was designed to investigate the effects of climate change on crop productivity (especially tuber crops and cereals), farmers’ well-being (food security) and adaptation measures of small scale crop farmers in all agro-climatic zones in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The broad objective of this study is to assess the economic effects of climate change on arable crops’ productivity, food security and adaptation practices in Nigeria. Specifically the study:
(i) ranked climate change risks affecting arable crop farmers;
(ii) estimated the influence of climate-factors on arable crop productivity variability (i.e. yield and net revenue variability) in the agro-ecological zones;
(iii) determined the effects of climate variability and farmers’ socioeconomic attributes on the level of household food security among crop farm households;
(iv) ascertained the influence of climate change and other determinants on crop farmers’ choices of adaptive technologies adopted to cope with felt and actual climate change;
(v) determined the influence of gender on level of adoption of climate change adaptation technologies by arable crop farmers.
1.4 Research Hypotheses
Five null hypotheses were formulated to guide the attainment of the study’s objectives. These included:
Ho1: Mean annual temperature and rainfall variability have no significant effects on crop farmers’ yield and farm net income variability in the agro-climatic regions.
Ho2: Mean annual temperature and rainfall variability have no significant effect on level of food security.
Ho3 The choice of adaptation technology adopted by the farmers who perceive climate change effects is not significantly influenced by the agro-climatic zone of the farmer.
Ho4 Gender has no significant effect on adaptation levels of crop farmers.
Ho5: Household Food security levels do not vary significantly across the agro-climatic zones in Nigeria.
1.5 Justification of the Study
Given the foregoing challenges discussed in the problem of statement section, a study of this nature will be a timely intervention as it will provide quantitative indices on drivers of food security and thus uncovering strategic problem areas that will need to be addressed in order to move agriculture to the forefront of Nigerian economy as well as guaranteeing household food security based on evidence. With regards to food security in Nigeria, Arene and Anyaeji (2010) observed that the definitions of food security made it clear that the concept of food problem was a complex one with many dimensions. At one level the concern was with national food security, which is the ability of countries to produce or import sufficient food every year to meet their requirement for both private and public distribution. At another level, they held, was more concern for the problem of malnutrition. However, studies empirically examining the implication and dimensions of climate change on food security particularly in Nigeria appeared scanty (if available).
One of the challenges facing African continent today is the need for undertaking empirical studies in climate change and adaptation, which have been left so far to Western countries (Odingo, 2008). The findings from this study therefore will be invaluable policy aid in bracing up to this challenge by providing empirical evidence that will be useful for country (Nigeria), regional (Economic Community of West African Countries, ECOWAS) or continental (African level e.g. via African Union, NEPAD and other agencies) level development policy making with respect to mitigating the effects of climate change in Nigeria and Africa.
There is also dire need to have an improved data base on the influence of climate change on household food security, crop productivity, adaptation and gender at different geographical levels – (state, country and regional) for evidence based policy making and adjustments. The Federal Government and International Donor Agencies/Stake Holders such as World Bank, UNCED, IFPRI, African Development Bank (ADB), IFAD, UNEP, USAID, World Food Programme, African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) to mention but a few will use the findings of this study as input data in modeling projections on climate change’s effect . The study in many aspects too will contribute to the realization of the goals of Nigerian Vision 2020 and Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). CAADP is an Africa-led (African Union) initiative that aims to help African countries reach a higher path of economic growth through agriculture-led development.
The focus of this study on influence of climate factors on farm net revenue variability can give an insight into the possible influence of climate change on poverty levels of small-scale farmers who constitute about 65 percent of Nigeria’s farming and rural class. Hence, findings from this study will provide useful data to NGOs and governmental bodies involved in addressing problems of poverty in Africa and Nigeria.
Stockholm Environment Institute (2008) noted that much of the climate modeling work remains focused on gaining greater understanding of atmospheric dynamics and does not appreciate the type of issues confronted by farmers or the manner in which data needs to be packaged so as to make it accessible to agricultural decision makers. This study thus aims at closing this research gap by exploring the use of different econometric methods to attain its objectives.
West African and other sub-Saharan Africa agricultural activities (which includes Nigeria as a dominant player) holds great potentials for global plan for climate change mitigation. It had been noted that Agriculture, forestry and land use (AFOLU) activities have large potential to impact Green House Gases (GHG) levels in the atmosphere. Smith, et al. (2008) estimated that GHG reductions of more than 5 billion tonnes CO2 emission per year by 2030 are possible globally through improved agricultural and land management practices, assuming carbon prices of up to $100 per tonnes CO2 emission. Given this great potential for AFOLU activities to reduce GHG a study of this nature which focuses on climate change adaptation involving farmers in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, is justified.
1.6 Limitations of the Study
The study was constrained by paucity of institutional data to implement a time series modeling approach which could have given a more robust analysis of climate variability effects over time. Nevertheless cross sectional data have been adopted by many other experts across the globe for similar analysis and their results have proved very useful in climate change adaptation and mitigation decision making. This study too lays claim to the authenticity of the approach applied in analyzing the dimensions of climate change and adaptation issues raised in this research. Another data problem lies with issue of poor record keeping by Nigerian crop farmers. This had often led to poor quality of quantitative information retrieval from farmers. However, to minimize errors that could emanate from this deficiency the researcher combined both oral interview method using enumerators who understood the language of the farmers in aiding the farmers to fill their questionnaires where necessary and had some focus group discussion too.
Additionaly, owing to constraints in fund availability or access the study could not survey all states in the entire country but with the system of sampling employed by the researcher in selecting farmers the researcher have ample confidence in the reliability of data used for this survey. The data made bold attempts to be representative reasonably. To ensure that reliable data was duly used efforts were made to collect the secondary data on climate factors by the researcher who travelled to Abuja to collect the data directly from NIMET office. So, the inability to employ all weather stations in the country would, therefore, not invalidate the findings of this study.
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