ASSESSMENT OF FACTORS INFLUENCING USE OF CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION PRACTICES BY RICE FARMERS IN NORTH-WEST NIGERIA



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ASSESSMENT OF FACTORS INFLUENCING USE OF CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION PRACTICES BY RICE FARMERS IN NORTH-WEST NIGERIA



CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1.         Background to the Study

 

Climate change is one of the biggest environmental, social and economic threats that the world is experiencing (Mendelsohn et al., 2006). It is a threat to the fight against hunger, malnutrition, disease and poverty in Africa and Nigeria in particular, mainly through its impact on agricultural productivity. Agriculture, upon which society depends for the food, feed, and fibre that enable sustainable livelihoods, is one of the sectors that is most vulnerable to shifts in climate (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC], 2007; National Research Council [NRC], 2010).

 

Climate change is said to exist when the level of climatic deviation from the normal is very significant over a long period of time (preferably centuries) and such deviations have clear and permanent impacts on the ecosystem (Odjugo, 2009). A drastic change in the climate systems either due to natural forces or unsustainable human activities results in climate change. The latter is regarded as the basic cause of on-going climate change and the advanced countries are most responsible (DeWeerdt, 2007).

 

Adaptation in the context of climate change is an adjustment in a system in response to actual or expected climatic changes and its impacts. It includes adjustments designed to moderate and offset potential damages or to capitalize on the changes in climate (PELUM 2010). Although climate change adaptation is recognised in Nigeria‘s development programmes and mainstreaming plans already begun, many policy analysts are of the opinion that policy statements declaring government‘s intentions are not new and the major limitation is whether appropriate mechanisms are put in place to ensure that the poorest farmers benefit from government‘s plan (Odozi, 2014).

 

Rice is Nigeria‘s most important staple crop, but despite ever-growing demand, the sector remains largely underdeveloped. There is great potential for production, particularly in the north, but Nigeria is actually one of the largest rice importers in the world, importing $3bn per year (Hussaini, 2016). Only 10% of Nigerian rice farmers have access to improved seed stock, compared to 25% in East Africa and 60% in Asia (Gyimah-Brempong et al., 2016), so national production is inevitably sub-optimal.

 

Rice transformation strategy under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) was launched in 2010 by the FGN to make Nigeria become rice self sufficient. The strategy was to produce more paddy and industrial grade milled rice that could compete with imported rice in the market. To this end, 268,000 farmers were given leverage through subsidies in seeds, fertilizers, provision of watering pumps for irrigation farming in ten

 

States of the north namely: Niger, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kano, Zamfara, Bauchi Jigawa Katsina, Kogi and Gombe (FGN, 2011). This indicates the importance of North-West

Nigeria and particularly Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States in rice production.

 

However, variation in weather and climate has led to a lot of devastating consequences and effects in various parts of the country (Odjugo, 2010). These include flooding, deforestation, desertification, erosion, drought, sea level rise, heat stress, pests and diseases, erratic rainfall patterns, and land degradation. When temperature exceeds the optimal level for biological processes, crops often respond negatively with a steep drop in net growth and yield. Khanal (2009), stated that heat stress might affect the whole physiological development, maturation and finally reduces the yield of cultivated crop.

 

One of the most serious long-term challenges to achieve sustainable growth in rice production is climate change (Wassmann et al., 2007). Rice productivity and sustainability are threatened by biotic and abiotic stresses, and the effects of these stresses can be further aggravated by dramatic changes in global climate. Drought and flood already cause widespread rice yield losses across the globe and the expected increase in drought and flood occurrence due to climate change would further add to rice production losses in the future. Thus the major challenge is the potential adverse effect of changing climate on rice production and being the factor limiting increase in annual yield (Ayinde et al., 2013).

 

1.2. Problem Statement

 

In terms of rice production in Nigeria, the North-West was second in the year 2013, after the North-Central, with production of 1,294,200 Metric Tonnes which was 28.6% of the country‘s total(Rapu, 2016).According to Ezedinma (2008) Kebbi and Sokoto States are among the major rainfed upland and irrigated rice ecologies in Nigeria, producing 44% of total domestic production at an average yield of 1.7t/ha and 2.2t/ha for the rainfed upland and irrigated rice, respectively. However, rice farming is highly dependent on environmental factors which are the most important among several factors that influence agricultural production(Onyegbula, 2017).

 

According to Edeh et al. (2011), rice production depends on optimum combination of factors of production in order to achieve remarkable yield. These factors are not limited to the familiar production inputs but include the various environmental factors provided by nature. Rainfall characteristics (intensity and duration), relative humidity and temperature constitute these weather-related and environmental factors that affect rice yield and its variability. Rice production which is one of the world‘s most important crops for ensuring food security and addressing poverty will be thwarted as temperatures in rice-growing areas, increase with continued change in climate(Gumm, 2010).

 

Climate change has brought uncertainty to weather conditions in Nigeria most especially in the northern part of the country which accounts for the major food crops produced e.g. rice. Hence, the most viable option for the rice farmers is to use the climate change adaptation practices.

 

Farmers have a long history of responding to climate variability. Traditional and newly introduced adaptation practices can help farmers to cope with both current climate variability and future climate change. However, the debate about the adaptation of small-scale farmers to climate change has occurred in the absence of knowledge about existing and potential adaptation practices. Because prevailing ideas about adaptation are vague, conducting focused research on potential adaptation practices and formulating appropriate advice for implementing new practices is difficult (Below et al., 2010).

 

The evident fallout of climate change according to IPCC (2007); Kurukulasuriya and Mendelsohn (2006) can be reduced through adaptation. Although, African farmers have a low capacity to adapt to changes owing to low technological development, poverty and illiteracy, they have survived and coped in various ways. Better understanding of how they have done this is essential for designing incentives to enhance adaptation (Mohammed et al., 2014). Supporting the adaptation strategies of local farmers through appropriate public policy and investment and collective actions can help increase the adaptation measures that will reduce the negative consequences of predicted changes in future climate with great benefits to vulnerable rural communities in Africa and Nigeria in particular (Hassan and Nhemachena, 2008).

 

Research on adaptation-climate change interaction have been conducted mainly in the southern part of Nigeria (Ajewole and Aiyeloya, 2004; Onyenechere and Igbozurike, 2008; Apata et al., 2009; Ozor, 2009; Nwalieji and Onwubuya, 2012; Ugwoke et al., 2012; Ayanwuyi et al., 2010, Oyerinde et al., 2010; Anyoha et al. 2013 and Bako, 2013) with relatively few in North-East and North-Central (Adebayo et al., 2012; Idrisa et al., 2012; Falaki et al., 2013 and Ayinde et al. 2013) and seldom if any, in the North-West. Moreover, the information obtained from these studies is not sufficient to represent the whole country as most of the previous studies focused on different agro-ecological zones with different social, institutional and environmental settings. This study, covering three States in the North-West, therefore will bridge the existing gap in knowledge on climate change adaptation information in the North-West and Nigeria in general.

 

It seems that there is a gap between the rate at which climate is changing and the response to reduce its impact through employment of adaptation strategies that ensure sustainable food security (Mudzonga, 2012). In spite of this, factors that influence farmers‘ decisions to adapt to climate change in North-West, Nigeria are not well known. This study seeks to investigate the factors that influence farmers‘ decision to adapt to climate change in order to inform policy formulation that enhances farmers‘ capacity to adapt to climate change. It investigates the factors influencing climate change adaptation practices among rice farmers in Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States of North-West, Nigeria. Kebbi and Sokoto States were among the fifteen states identified under the Rice Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) (The other states were Kano, Niger, Kaduna, Taraba, Adamawa, Kwara, Ebonyi, Cross River, Bayelsa, Borno, Enugu, Ekiti and Ogun). They produce mainly lowland rice. This study intends to answer the following research questions: 

Citation - Reference

All Project Materials Inc. (2020). ASSESSMENT OF FACTORS INFLUENCING USE OF CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION PRACTICES BY RICE FARMERS IN NORTH-WEST NIGERIA. Available at: https://allprojectmaterials.com/department/paper-8350.html. [Accessed: ].

ASSESSMENT OF FACTORS INFLUENCING USE OF CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION PRACTICES BY RICE FARMERS IN NORTH-WEST NIGERIA


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