Effect Of 2012 Flood Disaster On The Socio-Economic Characteristics Of Cassava Farmers

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Economics and Extension

Effect Of 2012 Flood Disaster On The Socio-Economic Characteristics Of Cassava Farmers


The study examined the effect of flood disaster on the socio-economic characteristics or cassava farmers in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State.

Simple random sampling procedure was used to select 100 respondent from four communities. A well-structured interview schedule was used to obtain data. Descriptive statistics, and t-test were employed in the analysis.

The results showed that there were more male farmers in the study area when female farmers. Most of the farmers were married and they practice full time farming. Few of the farmers have at least 2 hectare of their farm size. Most of the farmers were also into other crop cultivation like vegetable and yam and most of the farmer were into commercial farming. The Correlation showed significant relationship between respondent’s socio-economic characteristic and the general effect of flooding and the t-test establish a statistically differences between the effect of flooding on output. This study, therefore, recommends that the Government show empower the people living in the area by creating jobs to reduce the poverty rate in the study area.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The world at large has suffered natural disasters (flood) throughout its long history. They displace and disrupt thousands of families, and having more traumatic effects in the poorest of nations, crippling what are often already woefully inadequate economic development efforts, and destroying the infrastructure (Delaney et al, 2004). Natural disasters are happening more often and having an even more dramatic effect on the world in terms of both their agricultural, human and economic costs. Floods are dangerous to peoples’ lives and their aftermath results to death, destruction, misery, and trauma. One of the major repercussions that flood disasters have is on agriculture especially food crops like cassava production.

Unlike other investment activities, cassava is exposed to a large variety of risks and uncertainties from the vagaries of nature such as bad weather conditions, pests, and diseases, flood, erosion and fire outbreaks. According to Jafia (1988) examples of such risks and uncertainties that have occurred in Nigeria include, the Cassava Bacterial Blight (CBB) of 1973)/74 cropping season which caused the loss of about 162.500 tons of cassava tubers in the east, and frequent flooding and drought problems. Also, the serious drought years of 1982-1984 seasons and even the poor rainfall situations in 1987/88 seasons affected agricultural productivity as well. According to Taylor (1977), he identified crop losses in Nigeria as due to pest and diseases Okoye (1987) showed among others a pre-harvest loss of 10% on cassava partly due to pest and diseases.

Also after experiencing a devastating flood that resulted in displacing several hundred of thousands of people in 1998 the Kumadugu Yobe Valley (northern Nigeria) was flooded again in 2001, Madiodio et al. (2004).

A substantial part of the population depends on agriculture for its livelihood. These substantial parts of the population are the rural farmers causing a vicious circle of poverty and adding to the risk, damage, and stress of disasters. These rural farmers are exposed to natural disasters because they tend to live in marginal areas and depend on high-risk, low return livelihood systems such as rain-fed agriculture and face many sources of vulnerability including little physical infrastructure.

Today, Nigeria is suffering from low agricultural output and this could be due to the effect of natural disasters on the rural farmers. The rural farmers have suffered seriously during the occurrence of these disasters in the past and present. Not only do these disasters destroy crops and disrupt food supplies, they also affect land quality and production potentials (Stephenson 1994). Farmlands and houses have been washed off by erosion in the northern and southern parts of the country and these rural farmers have more or less been rendered jobless too because of the effects of these natural disasters causing rural-urban migration (Nyong, 2005). Pest and diseases migrate in response to climatic variation and will potentially pose a threat to livestock when they move to areas where there is flood to areas of drier regions. It can also lead to aberration in the animal mating habits.

The purpose of this study is to identify the effect of the 2012 flood disaster on the socio-economic characteristics of cassava farmers in Etsako East Local Government area of Edo State. According to Saldana-Zorrilla (2003) economic vulnerability makes presence through decrease in the income of rural farmers. The study will analyse the level of change of the rural farmers income caused by the flood and how this will affect the rural farmers and cassava production.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Natural disasters, such as the occurrence of flood, cause much misery, especially in developing countries where low-income earners undergo great stress. Losses due to floods reduce the asset base of households, communities and societies through the destruction of standing crops, dwellings, infrastructure, machinery and buildings in addition to tragic loss of life.

Occurrence of flood have led to crop failure, famine, loss of property, mass migration and negative economic growth and this in turn affects the household income of the rural farmers that depend on agriculture as their means of livelihood (Adedipe et al, 1997). The occurrence of flood disasters are becoming destructive to the rural farmers as they drive these rural farmers out of business and possibly increase the migration from rural areas (Chukuezi 2008). Because of this, the need for re-orienting resulting in agricultural decision making and insulation of the rural farmers from adverse impacts of flood disasters has become more pressing.

Thus the catastrophic result of the extreme global flood has greatly deteriorated the lands and production of cassava. This has therefore resulted to low productivity and high cost of purchasing the produce and it calls for a careful study for the rescue of cassava production. All these may not be ruled out in the areas affected by the 2012 flood disasters, especially in Etsako Local Government Area.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The broad objective is to study the effect of flood disaster on socio-economic characteristics of cassava farmers in Etsako East Local Government area of Edo State.

The Specific objectives are outlined as follows:

  1. To determine the socio-economic characteristics of cassava farmers
  2. To determine the effect of flood on their income generation
  3. To determine the effect of flood on their environment.

1.4 Research Questions

The questions therefore are as follows:

  1. What are the levels of effects of these natural disasters on the income of the rural farmers in Etsako East?
  2. To what extent does the flood affect the farmers?
  3. What is the present state of the farmers?
  4. What are the implications of the flood on the farmers?

1.5 Hypothesis of Study

The following null hypothesis were tested.

  1. H0: The income of the farmers in Nigeria is not significantly influenced by the flood.
    H1: The income of the farmers in Nigeria is significantly influenced by the flood.
  2. H20: There is no significant relationship between the 2012 flood disaster and the level of cassava of productivity among the farmers in Edo state.
    H21: There is a significant relationship between the 2012 flood disaster and the level of cassava of productivity among the farmers in Edo state.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine how the 2012 flood affected the agricultural livelihood and the implications of flood upon the rural farmers in cassava production. Being that the flood occurred recently not much has been done to examine its effects especially on cassava farmers in the study area. The results from this study will assist the government in policy making especially in the agricultural sector which will help increase farmers productivity.
This has been found to be critically linked to long-term economic growth, food security and environmental renewal. Similarly, it will make case for cassava production and development relief, which can serve to meet the immediate relief needs of the affected community. It also shows how new agricultural and environmental technologies will play a key role in the promotion of long-term development strategies that continue to reduce the vulnerability of poor, rural populations and marginalized groups to the menace of natural disasters.

1.7 Definition of Terms

a. Flood:

An overflow of a large amount of water beyond its normal limits, especially over what is normally dry land.

b. Disaster:

A sudden accident or a natural catastrophe that causes great damage or loss of life.

c. Socio-economic:

Relating to or concerned with the interaction of social and economic factors.

d. Cassava:

The starchy tuberous root of a tropical tree, used as food in tropical countries.

1.8 Organization of the Study

The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to reiterate that the objective of this study was examine the effect of the 2012 flood disaster on the socio-economic characteristics of cassava farmers.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given.

In this chapter, certain recommendations are made which in the opinion of the researcher are drawn from the findings of the study.

5.2 Summary

This study was undertaken to examine the effect of the 2012 flood disaster on the socio-economic characteristics of cassava farmers. The study opened with chapter one where the statement of the problem was clearly defined. The study objectives and research hypotheses were defined and formulated respectively. The study reviewed related and relevant literatures. The chapter two gave the conceptual framework, empirical and theoretical studies. The third chapter described the methodology employed by the researcher in collecting both the primary and the secondary data. The research method employed here is the descriptive survey method. The study analyzed and presented the data collected in tables and tested the hypotheses using the chi-square statistical tool. While the fifth chapter gives the study summary and conclusion.

5.3 Conclusion

Flooding, one of the effects of increasing trends of climate-induced changes in rainfall, is becoming a serious problem to farming communities in Edo state. Therefore, this study assessed the effects of the flood to cassava farmers Edo State by using primary and secondary data. Primary data used in this study included farmers’ socio-economic characteristics and the flood-related data obtained through the use of expert interviews and structured questionnaires as well as geographic co-ordinates of points obtained by using portable GPS.

Based on the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers and the ecological characteristics of the farming villages, the first community (Insert name) is shown to be the most susceptible to flood impacts, followed by the second one (Insert name), while the third (Insert name) is the least susceptible to flood damages.

Fortunately, the farmers employ several strategies to combat flood in the LGA. These include premature harvesting and processing, construction of drainage channels at the edge of flooded farms and flood-tolerant cropping as well as planting in other locations and diversification of economic activities. However, the capacity indices of the farming villages and the capacity map show that the farmers have very limited capacity to anticipate, cope with, recover from and adapt to flood disaster. The first community (Insert name) and the second community (Insert name) have very low relative capacities against flood.

The third community (Insert name), which has moderate exposure, very low susceptibility but very high capacity indices is the least flood vulnerable village while the fourth village (Insert name)(most exposed, with low susceptibility and low capacity) is the most vulnerable. First community, (moderately exposed, with moderate susceptibility and low capacity) and second third (Insert name) (least exposed, most susceptible, with very low capacity) fall under the second most vulnerable village class. Therefore, villages with low capacities tend to have high flood vulnerability.

5.4 Recommendation

The following recommendations are advised based on the findings, literature review and conclusions made in this study.

  1. The Nigerian Government should draw up a more comprehensive flood control/prevention plan, paying particular attention to prone areas and integrated into master plans for all cities, local government and villages.
  2. All existing planning laws in each state should be reviewed to meet present day realities and a building code for the state, be provided for enforcement.
  3. Climate justice should be adapted at every level so there is equality in policy implementation. Climate Justice is a fairly new vision which seeks to bring fairness, equality and environmental justice especially since the most vulnerable of the effects of climate change are those who are least involved in activities that cause it.
  4. Ministries such as Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of water resources and the State Ministry of Land Housing and Urban & Rural Development should work together in drawing up plans and strategies and if possible to come up with a single policy for rural development and another for urban development.
  5. Public enlightenment should be emphasized on the dangers associated with erecting buildings on flood prone areas and other practices that will affect the environment and create risk to individuals. Climate change lectures should be given to farmers, community members, talks on radio, and primary school will help in enlightening people on the risk and consequently their compliance with policies and future warnings.
  6. Emergency action plans should be put in place for unforeseen future events, even if it seems insignificant. The common sayings ‘Prevention is better than cure’ and ‘Better safe than sorry’ can be used as phrases for strategic planning.

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