Assessment Of Climate Change Mitigation Practices Among Arable Crop Farmers

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Economics and Extension

Assessment Of Climate Change Mitigation Practices Among Arable Crop Farmers


Abstract


This study assessed the climate change mitigating practices among arable crop farmers in Edo central zone of Edo state. One hundred arable crop farmers were selected through a multi-stage process using simple random sampling technique. Data collection was carried out with well structured questionnaire and was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical tools. Findings show that majority( 62.7%) of the respondents were males about 42% fell within the age bracket of 41-50 years of age, 84% were married, 62% had primary education and 41.3% had farm size of 2.1-4.0ha.The study also showed that majority of the farmers were aware of the causes and manifestations of climate change. All the respondents used manuring regularly as an adaptive measure while all of them perceived afforestation, manuring, timely harvesting and mixed cropping as most effective measures of adaptation.

The result also showed that there was no significant relationship between respondents socio-economic characteristics and awareness of climate change. There was significant relationship between the respondents’ annual income (r=-0.194, P=0.017) and the perceived effect of climate change on arable crops. There was significant relationship between respondents’ farm size (r=-0.253, P=0.002) and annual income (r=-0.179, P=0.029) and the perceived effectiveness of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures . The major constraints to the use of adaptive measures were lack of finance, lack of access to improved crop varieties, inability to access available information, low level of technology and difficulty in getting accurate result. It was recommended that the state government should make funds through rural agricultural credit scheme to arable farmers in Edo central zone and ensure the funds are well disbursed to enhance their access to production inputs to mitigate climate change effects.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Agriculture is a major sector of the Nigerian economy, providing employment for about 70% of the population. The agricultural sector is the mainstay of the economy though her development funds at present derive more from Petroleum oil and Gas exploration (Ifeanyi-obi et al., 2012). It is the principal source of food and livelihood especially in rural areas.Agriculture in Nigeria as in most other developing countries is dominated by small scale farmers (Oladeebo, 2004). Small holder farmers constitute 80% of the farming population in the country (Awoke and Okorji, 2004). These farmers produce on subsistence level with the objectives of satisfying household food needs and little surplus for sale (Awoke et al., 2004).

Agriculture places heavy burden on the environment in the process of providing humanity with food and fiber, while climate is the primary determinant of agricultural productivity. Given the fundamental role of agriculture in human welfare, concern has been expressed by federal agencies and others regarding the potential effects of climate change on agricultural productivity. Interest in this issue has motivated a substantial body of research on climate change and agriculture over the past decade (Lobellet al, 2008; Wolfe et al, 2005; Fischer et al, 2002). Climate change is expected to influence crop and livestock production, hydrologic balances, input supplies and other components of agricultural systems. However, the nature of these biophysical effects and the human responses to them are complex and uncertain.

It is evidenced that climate change will have a strong impact on Nigeria-particularly in the areas of agriculture; land use, energy, biodiversity, health and water resources. Nigeria, like all the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, is highly vulnerable to the impacts of Climate Change (IPCC 2007; NEST 2004). It was also, noted that Nigeria specifically ought to be concerned by climate change because of the country’s high vulnerability due to its long (800km) coastline that is prone to sea-level rise and the risk of fierce storms.

In addition, almost 2/3 of Nigeria’s land cover is prone to drought and desertification. Its water resources are under threat which will affect energy sources (like the Kainji and Shiroro dam). Moreover, rain-fed agriculture practiced and fishing activities from which 2/3 of the Nigerian population depend primarily on foods and livelihoods are also under serious threat besides the high population pressures of 140 million people surviving on the physical environment through various activities within an area of 923,000 square kilometers (IPCC 2007; NEST 2004).
Food crop farmers in South Western Nigeria provide the bulk of arable crops that are consumed locally, also, major food crop supplies to other regions in the country. The local farmers are experiencing climate change even though they have not considered its deeper implications. This is evidenced in the late arrival of rain, the drying-up of stream and small rivers that usually flows yearround, the seasonal shifting of the “Mango rains” and of the fruiting period in the Southern part of Oyo State (Ogbomosho), and the gradual disappearance of flood-recession cropping in riverine areas of Ondostate are among the effects of climate disturbances in some communities of South-Western Nigeria (BNRCC, 2008).

To approach the issue appropriately, one must take into account local communities’ understanding of climate change, since they perceive climate as having a strong spiritual, emotional, and physical dimension. It is therefore assumed that these communities have an inborn, adaptive knowledge from which to draw and survive in high-stress ecological and socio-economic conditions. Thus, the human response is critical to understanding and estimating the effects of climate change on production and food supply for ease of adaptation. Accounting for these adaptations and adjustments is necessary in order to estimate climate change mitigations and responses.

Although the agricultural sector is being transformed by commercialization at the small, medium and large scale enterprise levels, the country is still faced with a number of constraints. According to International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (2008), the constraints include poor agricultural pricing and low fertilizer use, low access to agricultural credit, land tenure insecurity and land degradation, poverty and gender issues, low and unstable investment in agricultural research as well as poor market access and marketing efficiency. In addition to these, climate and weather parameters have consistently been changing.

Climate refers to the average or typical weather conditions observed over a long period of time (usually over 30 years) for a give area (Spencer, 2009). The classical period is 30 years as defined by the World Metrological Organization (WMO). Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, precipitation, atmospheric partial count and other metrological elemental measurement in a given region. On the other hand, climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over period ranging from decades to million of years (Wikipedia, 2010).

Climate change and Agriculture are inter-related processes, both of which take place on a global scale. Global warming is projected to have significant impacts on conditions affecting Agriculture. These conditions include temperature, carbon dioxide, glacial run off, precipitation and their interactions are of significant importance. These changes in climate have had negative effects on agriculture over the years with arable crops not left out. Between 1996 and 2003, world grain production has stabilized over 1.8 billion tones. From 2000 to 2003, grain stocks have been dropping, resulting in a global grain harvest that was short of consumption by 93 million of tons in 2003 (Wikipedia, 2010). There has also been a reduction in harvest of these crops.

In recent times, farmers have devised several methods and indigenous technologies to mitigate the effect of climate change. In south-western Nigeria, Research have shown various adaptive measures (Apata et al, 2009). The major adaptation technologies and innovators identified include irrigation (Fadama), Afforestation, use of drought tolerant crop varieties and organic practices in form of manuring, mulching and fallowing as well as planting- date adjustment and timely harvesting of crops. However, these measures are not free of constraint. The constraints observed included lack of finance, low level of awareness about climate change, low level of technology, high illiteracy level and difficulty in getting accurate result (Apata et al., 2009). However, the study tends to examine the climate change mitigation practices among arable crop farmers in Edo Central Zone, Edo State Nigeria.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

It has been predicted that the resultant increase in temperature due to climate change will accelerate physiological development resulting in hastened maturation and reduced yield (FAO, 2005). It is also a well known fact that the occurrence of moisture stress resulting from drought, during flowing, pollination and grain filling is harmful to most arable crops. Growing seasons are expected to become shorter as temperature increases e.g rice yield starts decreasing at over 340c. It has also been noted that food production in Africa could half by 2020 (IPCC, 2007).

Furthermore, extreme weather events (climate change) such as thunder storm, flood, heavy rainfall and heavy wind are detrimental to agricultural activities in crops, livestock and humans. These often lead to failure of crops and incidence of pests and diseases due to migration in response to climate change and variation.

Nigeria is an Agrarian Economy with 75% small farmers accounting for the nation’s agricultural output (Bello, 2009). There are about 200,000 largely peasant farm families in Edo State who produce 80% of the crops consumed (www.edostate.gov.ng/commercialagriculture). Most of these farmers depend solely on the natural weather conditions for production and therefore need effective adaptive and mitigating measures to cope with these changes. The Edo state ADP and intervention programmes like National Fadama Development Project (NFDP), National Programme for Food Security (NPFS) and NGOs are in place to deliver extension services to farmers in all aspects of agriculture. However, it could not be categorically stated that they disseminate climate change adaptation and mitigation practices/information to farmers particularly on arable crops. Hence, this study is conducted to assess the climate mitigation practices among arable crop farmers in Edo Central Zone, Edo State Nigeria


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to assess the climate mitigation practices among arable crop farmers in Edo Central Zone, Edo State Nigeria

Specific objectives include;

  1. Examine the socio-economic characteristics of arable crop farmers in the study area;
  2. Assess farmers awareness of climate change issues;
  3. Examine the effect of climate change on arable crop production;
  4. Examine the adaptive and mitigating measures used by the farmers, how often they are used and how effective they are;
  5. Identify the constraints to the use of these measures

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the socio-economic characteristics of arable crop farmers in the study area?
  2. Are the farmers aware of climate change issues?
  3. In what ways is arable crop production affected by climate change?
  4. What is the extent of usage and effectiveness of the mitigating and adaptive measures employed by the farmers?
  5. What are the challenges faced in using these measures?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis I
  • H0: There is no significant relationship between respondents socio-economic characteristics and awareness of climate change issues
  • H1: There is a significant relationship between respondents socio-economic characteristics and awareness of climate change issues
Hypothesis II
  • H0: There is no significant relationship between respondent socio-economic characteristics and the perceived effect of climate change
  • H1: There is a significant relationship between respondent socio-economic characteristics and the perceived effect of climate change
Hypothesis III
  • H0: There is no significant relationship between respondents socio-economic characteristics and the perceived effectiveness of climate change mitigation and adaptation practices.
  • H1: There is a significant relationship between respondents socio-economic characteristics and the perceived effectiveness of climate change mitigation and adaptation practices.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work.

This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study is on the assessment of the climate mitigation practices among arable crop farmers in Edo Central Zone, Edo State Nigeria


1.8 Limitations of the Study

The demanding schedule of respondents at work made it very difficult getting the respondents to participate in the survey. As a result, retrieving copies of questionnaire in timely fashion is very challenging. Also, the researcher is a student and therefore has limited time as well as resources in covering extensive literature available in conducting this research. Information provided by the researcher may not hold true for all institutions but is restricted to the selected organization used as a study in this research especially in the locality where this study is being conducted.

Financial Constraint:

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time Constraint:

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

Finally, the researcher is restricted only to the evidence provided by the participants in the research and therefore cannot determine the reliability and accuracy of the information provided.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Climate Change:

Climate change is the long-term alteration of temperature and typical weather patterns in a place. The cause of current climate change is largely human activity, like burning fossil fuels, like natural gas, oil, and coal. Burning these materials releases what are called greenhouse gases into Earth’s atmosphere.

Mitigation Practices:

Mitigation means reducing risk of loss from the occurrence of any undesirable event. This is an important element for any insurance business so as to avoid unnecessary losses. Description: In general, mitigation means to minimize degree of any loss or harm.

Arable Crop Farming:

Arable farming involves growing crops such as wheat and barley rather than keeping animals or growing fruit and vegetables. Arable land is land that is used for arable farming.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of Findings

The purpose of this study was to examine the assessment of climate change mitigation practices among arable crop farmers in Edo central zone, Edo State, Nigeria.

Hypotheses were formulated (generated) to guide the researcher.

Hypothesis I
  • H0: There is no significant relationship between respondents socio-economic characteristics and awareness of climate change issues
  • H1: There is a significant relationship between respondents socio-economic characteristics and awareness of climate change issues
Hypothesis II
  • H0: There is no significant relationship between respondent socio-economic characteristics and the perceived effect of climate change
  • H1: There is a significant relationship between respondent socio-economic characteristics and the perceived effect of climate change
Hypothesis III
  • H0: There is no significant relationship between respondents socio-economic characteristics and the perceived effectiveness of climate change mitigation and adaptation practices.
  • H1: There is a significant relationship between respondents socio-economic characteristics and the perceived effectiveness of climate change mitigation and adaptation practices

The objectives of the study were to;

  1. Examine the socio-economic characteristics of arable crop farmers in the study area;
  2. Assess farmers awareness of climate change issues;
  3. Examine the effect of climate change on arable crop production;
  4. Examine the adaptive and mitigating measures used by the farmers, how often they are used and how effective they are;
  5. Identify the constraints to the use of these measures

5.2 Conclusion

This study revealed that there has been a positive and significant trend in temperature hence confirming the findings of previous research works that the weather is getting hotter otherwise referred to as global warming. Furthermore, it was found that rainfall shows an increasing trend which corroborates with the observed torrential rains being experienced in recent times. Adaptive strategies such as late commencement of planting, use of fertilizers, choice of cropping systems, breakage of daily work schedule, planting of cover crops among others were those appropriate to the situation found in the study area. It was concluded that in view of the predicted deleterious consequences of higher temperatures of the earth and obvious evidences of such occurrence as confirmed in this study, both government and indeed the citizenry should work hand in glove to ensure that the mitigation strategies as enunciated by the United Nations Organization under the aegis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change should be strictly adhered to. This will not only protect the survival of the present generation but for the future generation to come. Finally, government at all levels should make use of the proceeds from the naturally endowed economic resources (which their exploitation and use exacerbate the climate system), to improve the lots of the resource poor farmers so that they can afford the appropriate adaptation strategies to ensure increased food production, hence food security


5.3 Recommendations

Policies must aim at promoting farm-level adaptation through emphasis on the early warning systems and disaster risk management and also, effective participation of farmers in adopting better agricultural and land use practices
There is an urgent need for meteorological reports and alerts to be made accessible (when necessary) to farmers in an understandable forms.

Massive campaign on the reality of climate change and its serious consequences on food production is highly recommended so as to persuade against farmers’ believe from spiritual angle.

Need of readily availability emerging technologies and land management practices that could greatly reduce agriculture’s negative impacts on the environment and enhancement of its positive impacts.

It is evidenced from this study that arable food crop farmers are experiencing change in climate and they have already devised a means to survive. It is from this point that policy of reliable and effective measures of adaptation need to be implemented and must be accessible to the end users. Looking at the issue of climate change adaptation, the role of agricultural economics in this regard is significant to raise both the consciousness of the need to climate change adaptation and possible methods of mitigation to both the end users and policy makers. The fulcrum of agricultural economists is cost minimization and profit/output maximization. Therefore, agricultural economists must locate enterprise combination or resource use substitution in terms of human and physical in the realization of this objective.

The case study research undertook clearly showcases that majority of the respondents still believe in spiritual angle rather than the global warming, but the results indicated presence of change in climate, though people responses to the issue of climate change is at low pace. Thus, there is a need by agricultural economists to design strategies that could help the farmers/rural communities’ responses effectively to global warming. This is in line with the recognition that other stakeholders in agricultural sustainability must be worked with: like the Agro climatologist, Meteorologists, Agricultural Extensions and Rural Sociologists for early warming alerts and interpretations in the language useful to farmers/rural communities


Assessment Of Climate Change Mitigation Practices Among Arable Crop Farmers


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