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Paper Details

Trends, Perceptions and Adaptation Options of Arable Crop Farmers to Climate Change in Imo State, Nigeria; Multinomial Logit Model Approach

Onubuogu, G.C and N.S Esiobu

Journal Title:Scholarly Journal of Agricultural Science (SJAS)

The study evaluated the trends, perceptions and adaptation options of arable crop farmers to climate change in Imo State, Nigeria. Specifically, the study identified socio-economic characteristics of the farmers; determined farmers perceptions on climatic variables; examined trends of climatic variables in Imo State, Nigeria; determined farmers adaptation options to climate change and identified farmers barriers to climate change in the study area. Multi-stage random sampling technique was adopted in selection of respondents. The sample size comprised sixty farming households. The main tool for data collection was a set of structured, validated and pre-tested questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistical tools, trend analysis and multinomial logit regression model. In order to forecast the future trends of climate change in the area and beyond, climatic record of 40 years duration were obtained between 1972 and 2012 from Agro-meteorological Station, National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria. Findings revealed mean age of the farmers to be 43.24years. Majority (73.33%) were males. Greater proportion (71.67%) were married with an average household size of six persons while the average farm income was N59,500.00. Farmers cultivated on an average farm size of 0.97ha. Majority (86.67%) have access to climate change information. The study confirmed the evidence of climate change in the area as result from trend analysis revealed a sustained decrease in number of rainy days and relative humidity between 1972 and 2012, while results on temperature level and sunshine duration from 1972-2012 showed an increasingly significant trends respectively. If the trend continues, arable crop production (vegetables, maize, okra, roots and tubers) in the area may be adverse with time. Perceptions of farmers on temperature level (63.33%), relative humidity (65.00%), rainfall amount (78.33%) and sunshine duration (81.67%) were all in line with the trends analysis result. Thus, it is obvious that arable crop farmers in the area are noticing the change and its negative impact in the area and are responding to the change through the adoption of certain local practices to thwart its negative impacts. Estimated multinomial logit model (likelihood ratio statistics) showed that socio-economic characteristics of the farmers have a significant influence on their adaptation options to climate change. Farmers complained of inadequate information and inadequate funds as the major barrier in adaptation to climate change. It was therefore recommended that effective agricultural policies and programmes should focus on intensifying awareness on climate change. Effort should also focus on integrated development supports to provide education, vocational skills and trainings to the farmers in the area. Ultimately, the government investment strategies should address access to credit and increase agricultural extension service delivery as this would affect farmers adaptation to climate change positively.