Farmers’ Adaptation Initiatives to the Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture in Northern Nigeria
AbstractThe study ascertained the innovative adaptive measures used by farmers in northern Nigeria to cushion the harmful effects of climate change. Quantitative and qualitative approaches (Rapid Rural Appraisal, focus group discussions, and semi – structured interview schedule) were used to elicit information from a total of 500 farmers, which were selected using multistage random sampling technique. Findings revealed that 84% and 79% of the farmers were aware and knowledgeable of climate change issues, respectively, while 81% of them noted that they had at various times experienced climate change incidences. Farmers reported that factors which informed their perception of climate change incidence were: unusual early rains followed by weeks of dryness (M= 2.84), erratic rainfall pattern (M= 2.66), drought (M=2.68), reduction in farm yields (M=2.68) and high rate of disease incidence (M= 2.67). Adaptive measures used by the farmers in northern Nigeria included: changes in planting dates (88.4%) and harvesting dates (85.4%), multiple cropping (81.8%), intensive manure application (69.2%), shift to different sites (56.8%) and use of wetland/river valley (fadama) for farming (52.6%). The study concludes that there is need for government to make concrete efforts to enact appropriate policies on climate change adaptation and assist local farmers in the short and long term to improve their resilience to climate change impact.
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