Adaptation Strategies To Climate Variability Used By Farming Households In Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Economics and Extension

Adaptation Strategies To Climate Variability Used By Farming Households In Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria


Abstract


The objective of this study was the factors that influence farmers’ choice of adaptation measures and identifies adaptation methods to climate change in Nigeria using Akwa Ibom State as a case study. The data was collected from 160 sample households using a survey questionnaire and was analyzed using both descriptive statistics and econometric methods. Multinomial logit model (MNL) was used to identify factors influencing farmers’ choice of adaptation strategies to climate change and variability.

The adaptation strategies considered in the MNL model analysis were crop variety, improve crop and livestock, soil and water conservation practices and irrigation. The result from the multinomial logit analysis showed that age, family size, farm income, farm size, distance to the farm, distance to the market, access to credit, livestock holding (TLU), farm to farm extension and access to climate information are significance factors influencing to farmers’ adaptation strategies. The basic barriers to climate change adaptation on the farmers’ side are luck of knowledge, lack of capital, lack of sufficient land and luck of information. Therefore, future policy should focus on awareness creation on climate change to adaptation through different ways such as mass media and extensions, encouraging informal social networks, improving the availability of credit and enhancing research on use of new crop varieties are more suited in different agro ecological zones.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Agriculture is the dominant sector of the economy in most of least developing countries. Nigeria is one of the developing counties in which agriculture is the main source of the economy. It contributed 41.6 percent to GDP, 60 percent for employment and 80 percent for export earnings. This sector is expected to have a base and primary determinant for GTP. In line with this environmental conservation it plays a great role in sustainable economic growth and development. The issue of climate change stands at the heart of this transformation agenda. Currently the issue of climate is one of the key agenda worldwide. Nigeria is highly vulnerable to climate change and low capacity to adopt and perceived. Climate change is a natural phenomenon which influences agricultural production and negative effect on the social and economic activities and lead to food insecurity in particular (MoFED, 2010).

According to IPCC (2007) Africa is one of the regions that will be hard hit by the impact of climate change like increasing in temperature and reduction in rainfall. Agricultural production and food security in many African countries could be affected by climate change and variability. By 2020 some countries rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent, with smallholders being the most affected. The impact of climate change could be reducing the economic growing in some parts of Africa and these effects are expected to get worse. This implies that reduction in agriculture production of the smallholder farmers and would be further adversely affected food security. To sustain current levels of food production and to meet future challenges smallholder farmers` may have to respond to the impact of climate change using an adaptation strategies. (ibid)

Climate change affects all aspect of economic growth especially in least developing countries. To reduce the impact of climate change and enhance food security, adaptation measures are urgently required. The process of adaptation options are needed to be location, integrated and flexible. This climate change affects to all agricultural sector in a multitude ways. For example, changing weather pattern such as heavy flood and storms makes the agricultural production low and leading to extreme events of poverty and slow down economic development. In general, there is a relationship between climate vulnerability, poverty and food insecurity (FAO, 2011).

Moreover, adaptation is critical and necessary in developing countries, especially in Nigeria where the fact that vulnerability is high. Most people of livelihoods and living standard are affected by the impact of climate change.

Farmers with better knowledge and information on climate change and agronomic practices enable to use adaptation methods to cope up with change in climate and other socioeconomic conditions (Nhemachena & Hassan 2007). A better understanding of the local dimensions of climatic change is also essential to develop appropriate adaptation measures that can mitigate the adverse impact of climate change. Therefore, awareness of the potential benefits from adaptation is an important issue.

According to Deressa et al. (2009) increasing temperature and rainfall variability in different part of Nigeria were adversely affect the agricultural production of the rural household farmers. To minimize the impact of climate change on stallholder farmers’, adaptation strategy is vital instrument. The main critical points such as social, economic, technology and environmental trends are able smallholder farmer’s to perceive and adapt to climate change. In addition, knowledge by itself on the adaptation method and factor affecting farmer’s choice of the adaptation strategies are enhancing efforts directly towards tackling to the impact of climate change.(ibid)
By understanding all of these facts, effort should focus on finding mechanisms in which smallholder farmer’s can reduce these problems and improve effort to strength smallholder farmers’ adaptation to climate change. Generally, it is believed that the adaptation strategy of smallholder on agriculture to climate change is imperative to enhance the resilience of agricultural sectors.

Therefore, this study intended to identify smallholder farmers’ adaptation strategies to climate change and variability’s by taking Akwa Ibom State as a case study.


1.2. Statement of the Problem

Agriculture is the major driver of economic growth especially in developing countries. Nigeria is one of the least developing countries in which majority of its population depend on agriculture sector. Rising the agricultural production at the national level leads to improve overall economic growth and development. However, currently climate change has become a serious threat to sustainable economic growth (Gebreegziabheret al., 2012).

The impacts of climate change have been adversely affecting the economic growth. These impacts affect all economic sensitive sectors especially agriculture sector. Nigeria is a poor country and its economy is highly depending on agriculture which had failed to meet the growing food demand. This is due to the fact that the negative effect of climate changes on agricultural production (World Bank, 2007). Moreover, According to Deressa (2007) Nigerian agriculture sector is negatively affected by climatic related disasters with drought and flood being the major one.

Adaptation is an essential strategy to enable farmers to cope with the adverse effect of climate change and variability which in turn increase the agricultural production of the poor farm households (Yesuf et al., 2008). Similarly, knowledge of the adaptation methods on the side of smallholder farmers may make it better to tackle the challenge of climate change (Deressa et al., 2009).

Climate change is unexpected impact because it is a natural phenomenon that varies with location, socio economic and environmental conditions. The capacity to adapt to climate change is unequal across and within societies. This fact implies that the adaptation measures at micro level farm household are important to get truth and appropriate policies. According to Maddison (2007) there is a difference in the propensity of farmers living in different locations to adapt. Farmers in different area or agricultural zone have unequal propensity and capacity to climate change impact and adaptation. According to Admassie et al. (2008) in-depth study on vulnerability and adaptation should continue. To address this studying one specific site area is appropriate. Therefore, the researcher tried to address this gap of knowledge by studying a single state level case study of adaptation strategies to climate change.
Some researchers are done on climate related issues in Nigeria but most of them are focused on the farmers of Nile Basin as a case study (Deressa et al., 2010; Rengler et al., 2009; Hassan et al., 2008 and Yesuf et al., 2008) .Their findings are interesting to make policy intervention at micro level especially for the farmers who are similar to the socio economic and climatic condition of Nile Basin. But a one size fits all recommendation is inappropriate given difference in agro ecologies. Since adaptation is a local effort, therefore the adaptation method differs within community and even within individuals. According to Fussel (2007) tailoring adaptation practices to specific societies or communities may make it possible to offset the adverse impact of climate change.

Therefore, a better understanding of the local dimensions of the climate change is important to develop appropriate adaptation measures and appropriate policies. Akwa Ibom State is district central Zone of Tigrai, which is vulnerable to climate change. In this study area the impact of climate change is adversely affecting the agriculture. The existence of warming and rainfall variety leads to reduce the agricultural production of the smallholder farmers. Therefore, the area is seriously affected by the climate change and weather variability. As to the knowledge of the researcher, no earlier study was conducted on the climate change adaptation strategies of smallholder farmers in this study area. Hence, considering this knowledge gap, the researcher would study on the local level of smallholder farmers’ adaptation strategies to climate change in Akwa Ibom State.

1.2.1. Research Questions

The study was attempted to address the following questions:

  1. What are the determinant factors that influence farmers’ choice of adaptation methods to climate change in Adwa wereda?
  2. What kinds of adaptation methods the smallholder farmers’ response to climate change in Adwa wereda?
  3. What are policies implications from the finding of the study?

1.3. Objective of the Study

1.3.1. General Objective of the Study

The general objective of this study is to determine the factors that influence smallholder farmers’ choice of adaptation method and identify adaptation strategies used by farmers’ in response to climate change and variability in Nigeria using Akwa Ibom State a case study.

1.3.2. Specific Objective of the Study
  1. To determine factors that influence farmers’ choice of adaptation strategies to climate change in Akwa Ibom State.
  2. To identify adaptation strategies used by farmers’ in response to climate change and variability in Akwa Ibom State.
  3. To propose some policy implication (recommendation) based on the findings of the study.

1.4. Significance of the Study

Purposely this research would intend to study the smallholder farmers’ adaptation strategies to climate change in Akwa Ibom State. This study was conducted at micro level so that it is very interesting to use as guideline document for further research in this study area and to the same climatic, socioeconomic and geographical areas. In addition, it may provide significant contribution to local and national government, NGOs and other bilateral donors in an effort to minimize the impact of climate change design of policy at local level.


1.5. Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study was carried out on smallholder farmers in Akwa Ibom State district central Zone of Tigrai region. It was conducted on smallholder farmers’ adaptation strategies to climate change by taking a case study approach in order to make a detail analysis. The major limitation of this study was the inclusion of only four climate change adaptation strategies in the model and the sample size was also not large because of financial and time constraint.


Chapter Five


Conclusions and Policy Implications

5.1. Conclusions

This chapter provides summary and conclusion based on research findings on smallholder farmers’ adaptation strategies to climate change in Akwa Ibom State, centeral zone of Tigrai, Nigeria. The study used cross-sectional data collected from 160 households in the production year 2013/2014, and applied descriptive and econometric approaches to analyze the data.

In this study area, almost all of the farmers were aware about the change in the level of precipitation and temperature during the last 15 years. Majority of the respondents about 98.4% perceived reduction in rainfall and 95.2% of the respondent’s perceived increment in temperature over the last 15 years. In spite of this disparity in the perceived direction of changes in these elements of climatic change, the adaptation strategies such as different crop variety and improve crop and livestock are the most commonly practiced adaptation strategies to climate change by the households. Moreover, strategies such as soil and water conservation and irrigation have been exercised by some proportion of the farmers. In general, based on the respondents around 88.75% of the farmers have taken at least one adaptation measure in response to climate change.

Indicators of climate change and variability have been observed in the study area includes: off-seasonal rainfall, heavy rain, too little rainfall, high temperature, coolness as well as high winds. On the other hand, the farmers in the study area have been highly encountered the intensity of climate related problem like water quality and availability, food insecurity, high risk of crop damage. Some of the sample respondents in this study area have not taken adaptation measures to climate change due to different constraint factors. These includes: lack of knowledge, lack of capital, lack of sufficient land, lack of information and unobserved climatic related problems are the major ones. In addition, lacks of support from the governmental body as well as not giving emphasis by the farmers themselves are also among the barriers to climate change adaptation in the study area.

Multinomial logistic regression analysis was employed to determine the factors influencing farmers’ choice of adaptation strategies to climate change. The result from the multinomial logit analysis shows that age, family size, farm size, farm income, distance to the farm, distance to the market, access to credit, farmer-to-farmer extension, access to climate information and number of livestock owned by the household have a significant influence on farmers’ choice of climate change adaptation strategies.

For instance, age of the household head has positive effect on the probability of farmers to use soil and water conservation adaptation strategy to climate change. An increase in age of the household head, increase the probability of farmers to use soil and water conservation adaptation strategy. On the other hand, a family size of the household has positively influence on the probability of farmers to use crop variety and irrigation adaptation strategies. An increasing in family size of the household head, increase the probability of farmers to use different crop variety and irrigation adaptation strategies. Similarly, the household income from farm is also positively effects on the probability of farmers to use irrigation and soil and water conservation adaptation methods. An increase in household income from farm, increase the probability of farmers use irrigation and soil and water conservation adaptation methods. Farm size of the household head has positively influence the probability of farmers’ to use crop variety adaptation strategy. Moreover, Access to climate information has also positively influence the probability of farmers to use soil and water conservation strategy to climate change.

In addition, access to credit, farm to farm extension and livestock size are positively determines the probability of farmers use different crop variety and improve crop and livestock adaptation strategies to climate change. Distance to the farm and distance to the market are also positively influence on the probability of farmers no to adopt any adaptation strategies to climate change. On the other hand, distance to the farm is negatively determine the probability of farmers’ to use improve crop and livestock adaptation strategy.

In general, age, family size, farm income. farm size, distance to the farm, distance to the market, access to credit, farm to farm extension service, number of livestock owned by farmer and access to climatic information are the main factor that influences farmers’ choice of adaptation method to climate change.


5.2. Recommendation and Policy Implication

Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations were forwarded for reducing the impacts of climate change on agriculture. Strengthening efforts on enhancing the farmers’ adaptive capacity to climate change and variability is an important policy measurement. The government and any concern body should give emphasis to address this issue of climatic change through paying greater attention. In the study area problem of food insecurity is a common by the farmers of this State especially when there is crop failure due to off-seasonal rainfall and little rainfalls. Therefore, effort and strengthen the farmers’ adaptive capacity to climate change through providing early maturing crop to farmers has an important mechanism.

Besides, Social and physical infrastructure should be improved and institutions dealing with climate related issues including the meteorology agency be strengthened to increase adaptive capacity and also access climate information is very crucial for pre-informing the farmers about the future weather condition. Therefore, in this case the role of metrological agency is very worthwhile in communicating information about weather condition to the farmer using different mechanisms like radio and/or television. This awareness creation effort should be combined with the different types of crop and livestock production and management practices that farmers could use different adaptation mechanisms to climate change.

Policies aimed at promoting farm-level adaptation need to emphasize on the crucial role of providing information on better production techniques and enhancing farmers’ awareness on climate change to enable farmers adapt to climate change.

In addition, addressing the climate related problems calls for the government as well as NGOs working on this issue to first tackle the barriers to climate change adaptation in the study area. These include provision of the necessary capital inputs at reasonable price, initiating the farmers to give emphasis for the issue of climate by creating detailed awareness about the causes and consequences of climate change as well as the adaptation methods together with continuous follow up from agricultural extension officers. For example, provisions of material and technical support for the farmers necessary to tackle the adverse impact of climate changes.

Moreover, Government policies should support the provision of access to education, credit, extension services on crop and livestock production, and information on climate and adaptation measures are necessary to better cope with climate change in the study area. Additionally, policy interventions that encourage informal social networks i.e farm to farm extension services can promote group discussions. This is very necessary for farmers to share experience, information and knowledge among them. Therefore policy program which is intended at reducing the climate related problems should also focus on accessing improved inputs such as better seeds, improved livestock and fertilizer to farmers with fair price. In addition, provision of crop and livestock insurance has very crucial role in supporting the smallholder farmers to recover from risks against climate related problems.


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