Adaptation to Climate Change among Smallholder Crop Farmers : Current School News

An Assessment of Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change among Smallholder Crop Farmers in Enugu State, Nigeria

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An Assessment of Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change among Smallholder Crop Farmers in Enugu State, Nigeria.

ABSTRACT  

This study was conceived in regard to the empirical reality that farming in Enugu State, as it applies to all parts of Southeastern Nigeria, is constrained by the adverse effects of climate change. It was therefore, considered necessary to conduct an assessment of smallholder farmers’ awareness to climate change, their adaptation strategies, the associated costs and returns, underpinning, and constraints to their adoption of the identifies adaptation strategies.

This study assessed adaptation strategies to climate change among smallholder crop farmers in Enugu State. Specifically, it described the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents, described farmers’ level of awareness of climate change, identified climate change adaptation strategies used by the respondents, estimated and compared the costs and returns of these strategies, determined factors that drive the choice of these strategies, and analyzed the constraints to adoption of adaptation strategies.

A multistage random sampling procedure was used to select 320 smallholder crop farmers from 16 communities from whom data were collected in the 2014 farming season using structured questionnaire. The analytical techniques involving descriptive statistics, cost and return technique, multiple regression model, multinomial logit model, and likert type scale were used in analyzing the data. Majority of the respondents were male (63.7%), average household size of 7 persons and an average farm size of 1.23 hectares in the study area.

INTRODUCTION  

The process of producing food requires resources, which could be natural or manmade. Natural resources include all the materials and forces that are supplied by nature. Those that are most essential for food crop production are land, water, sunshine, air, temperature and soil conditions (which are components of climate system). Man-made resources (include labour, capital or entrepreneurship) are supplied and influenced by man (Olayide & Heady, 1982; Oyekale, Bolaji & Olowa, 2009).

According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report (2007), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) defined climate change as a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global and/or regional atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods (IPCC, 2001).

It is obvious from this definition that change is an inherent attribute of climate, which is caused by both human activities (anthropogenic) and natural processes (biogeographical) (Odjugo, 2007, 2009). Climate change perhaps is the most serious environmental threat facing mankind in the twenty-first century and its complexity has attracted diverse efforts covering the full spectrum of scientific, economic, social and political disciplines.

It is affecting patterns of life and general living conditions of people around the world; the availability of water, food production, weather conditions, health, cultures, economic well-being and recreation among others. It has already been observed in Africa where it has directly affected climatedependent activities and indirectly worsened poverty, conflict, low level of education and poor health (Orindi & Murray, 2005). 

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CSN Team.

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