The Impact Of Climate Change On Agricultural Productivity (A Case Of Delta State)

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Science Students

The Impact Of Climate Change On Agricultural Productivity (A Case Of Delta State)


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Because of its multifunctional nature, the agricultural sector has a multiplier effect on any sector’s socioeconomic and industrial fabric (Ogen 2007). It has the ability to serve as an industrial and economic springboard for the country’s development (Stewart 2000). This sector continues to be the primary source of income for the majority of rural communities in developing countries in general. Agriculture employs more than 60% of the African population and accounts for over 30% of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (Kandlinkar and Risbey 2000). Rain-fed farming dominates agricultural production in Sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for around 97% of total farmland and subjecting agricultural productivity to considerable seasonal rainfall variability (Alvaro et al. 2009). Agriculture is the primary source of food and employment in Nigeria, employing approximately 60-70 percent of the population (Mayong et al. 2005). It is an important sector of the economy, providing raw materials for processing businesses as well as foreign exchange profits for the country (Mohammed-Lawal and Atte 2006). Because agriculture in Nigeria is primarily rain-fed, any change in climate is bound to have an influence on agricultural production in particular, as well as other socioeconomic activities in the country. However, the impact could be quantified in terms of crop growth, soil water availability, soil erosion, pest and disease incidence, sea level rises, and soil fertility decline (Adejuwon 2004). Climate change has become a greater threat not just to the sustainable development of any nation’s socioeconomic and agricultural operations, but to the entire human life (Adejuwon 2004). The effect of climate change, as further stated by the UNFCCC, implies that the local climate variability to which people have previously experienced and adapted is changing, and this change is occurring at a rather rapid rate.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Climate change poses a challenge to agricultural production that extends beyond crop husbandry to encompass livestock and, indeed, the entire agricultural sector. African farmers rely on livestock for revenue, food, and animal products as well. Ehui, Nin (Benin 2007). Climate can have an impact on livestock both directly and indirectly (Adams et al. 1999; Manning and Nobrew 2001). Climate variables such as air, temperature, humidity, wind speed, and other climate parameters have direct affects on animal performance such as growth, milk production, wool production, and reproduction. Climate can also influence the amount and quality of feed, such as grass, forage, and grain, as well as the severity and distribution of livestock diseases and parasites (Niggol and Mendelsohn 2008). As a result, agricultural productivity is used to examine the entire agricultural sector. Rainfall is by far the most important aspect of climate change in Nigeria and the country’s water resources potential (Adejumo 2004). The northeast region of Nigeria is rapidly becoming an arid environment, owing to a rapid drop in the amount of surface water, flora and fauna resources on land (CGIAR) (2008). A consistent decrease in rainfall reduces the natural regeneration rate of land resources (Fasona and Omojola 2005). This causes people to use additional previously unexplored territories, resulting in forest loss and an increase in sand dunes/Aeolian deposits in Nigeria’s northern axis. Climate change is the most serious issue confronting the planet today. According to some, it is a more significant threat than global terrorism (King 2004). The southern region of Nigeria, which is famed for its heavy rainfall, is currently experiencing erratic rainfall, and temperatures in the country’s Guinea Savannah zone are progressively rising. Furthermore, the northern zone is threatened by desert expansion (FME 2004). Climate change has an impact on food and water resources, which are crucial for livelihoods in Africa, where many people, particularly the poor, rely on local supply networks that are vulnerable to climate change. Disruptions to current food and water systems will have disastrous consequences for development and livelihood. These are projected to exacerbate the already-existing barriers to poverty eradication posed by climate change (De Wit and Stankiewicz 2006). According to CGIAR (2008), the ability of the environment to offer all life support systems and materials for meeting all developmental objectives of humans and animals is based on the suitability of the climate, which is always changing. The impact of these developments is threatening Nigeria’s food security. The study investigates agricultural production trends and assesses the impact of climate change on agricultural output.


1.3 Objective Of The Study

The general objective of this study is to examine the impact of climate change on agricultural productivity. Below are the specific objectives:

  1. Identify whether there is any relationship between climate change and agricultural productivity.
  2. Identify if high temperatures result in an increase in agricultural productivity.
  3. Identify weather high rain fall destructs agricultural activities and productivity.

1.4 Research Hypothesis

A hypothesis refers to an experimental statement, tentative in nature, showing the relationship between two or more variables. It is open to test and can be accepted or rejected depending on whether it agrees or disagrees with the statistical test.

The two hypotheses that were tested in this study are the null and alternative hypotheses.

The null hypothesis reflects that there will be no observed effect in our experiment. In a mathematical formulation of the null hypothesis, there will typically be an equal sign. This hypothesis is denoted by H0. The null hypothesis is what we attempt to find evidence against in our hypothesis test.

The alternative or experimental hypothesis reflects that there will be an observed effect on our experiment. In a mathematical formulation of the alternative hypothesis, there will typically be an inequality, or not equal to the symbol. This hypothesis is denoted by either Ha or by H1. The alternative hypothesis is what we are attempting to demonstrate in an indirect way through the use of our hypothesis test. If the null hypothesis is rejected, then we accept the alternative hypothesis. If the null hypothesis is not rejected, then we do not accept the alternative hypothesis.

The study will test the validity of the following null hypothesis:

  • H01: There is no relationship between climate change and agricultural productivity.
  • H02: High temperatures do not result in an increase in agricultural productivity.
  • H03: High rain fall does not destroy agricultural activities and productivity.

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This study will be of great relevance to students, researchers, and agricultural science teachers across Nigeria as the study will serve as a source of information for them for research and study purposes. Also, farmers in all regions of Nigeria will find this study useful as the study discusses and uncovers the challenges imposed by climate change on agricultural productivity. The recommendation found in the last chapter of this study will also educate farmers on the best ways to manage climate change to avoid major impacts on crops.


1.6 Scope Of The Study

This study focuses on ascertaining whether there is any relationship between climate change and agricultural productivity. Weather high temperatures result in an increase in agricultural productivity and weather poor high rain destroys agricultural activities and productivity. The study will therefore be limited to farms in Eboyi State, Nigeria.


1.7 Limitation Of The Study

The major limitations to the study are insufficient funding to involve many respondents in this research and carry out other logistics required in this study. Also, the time factor was another constraint where the researcher had to share available time between academic work and conducting this research within the given time frame.

Inadequate materials needed for the success of this study was another factor that limited this study. The sources of literature and the conducting of interviews in order to validate this research posed a barrier to the researcher.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Climate:

Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time span spanning from months to millions of years.

Climate Change:

This includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns.

Agriculture:

This is the act of practicing farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.


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