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ASSESSMENT OF INDIGENOUS FARMERS PERCEPTION OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN NORTH CENTRAL PART OF NIGERIA

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ASSESSMENT OF INDIGENOUS FARMERS PERCEPTION OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN NORTH CENTRAL PART OF NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

One of the continents most susceptible to both climate variability and change is Africa. Farmers only have access to ideal weather conditions to maximize crop yields. However, when left unaltered, natural resources including land, water, air, and vegetation give growers of food crops a stable source of income. Over time, indigenous farmers of food crops in emerging nations have seen alterations in their ecosystems, leading to a decline in agricultural yield. Owing to the negative effects of climate change, food crops accounted for approximately 94% of the already observed drop in the production rate of maize, sorghum, millet, rice, and legumes (Odjogo, 2009). Climatic factors like rainfall has not kept a regular pattern, temperatures are rising and forest has not been flourishing. Planting periods and harvest time kept changing over time and space. These changes compelled  farmers to adapt to some indigenous strategies in creative ways drawing from traditional adaptation knowledge to new technologies that proffer solutions to climate variability (Ishaya and Abaje, 2008). Conceptually, climate change is the overall long-term characteristics of the weather experienced at a place. Similarly, it is thought of as a long-term summary of weather conditions, taking account of the average conditions as well as the variability of these conditions (Yekken, 2011). In addition, climate change has been defined as a significant variation in weather events that persist for an extended period of a decade or longer (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007). These variations manifest in a number of ways which includes; changes in average climatic conditions (drier lands, wetter lands, erratic rainfall patterns and extreme weather temperatures), depletion of the ozone layer and certain human activities such as deforestation and industrialization (Mohammed et al., 2013 and Audu, 2003). Similarly, the savannah areas of northern Nigeria were projected to experience less rainfall, which coupled with temperature increases, reduces soil moisture availability Ogbo et al. (2013). The country’s coastline (about 853 km long) makes the large population of coastal communities vulnerable to increases in sea level and storm surges. Additionally, the land cover of over two thirds of Nigeria is vulnerable to desertification and drought. Thus, the availability of water is mostly determined by climate, which also affects health and, eventually, the degree of poverty among Nigerians especially in the North central.Furthermore, farmers' perceptions of the risks and opportunities posed by climate change have a significant impact on their actions, and the specific behavioral responses to those perceptions will determine the available alternatives for adaptation (Adgeret al., 2009). Indigenous farmers perceive climatic changes differently in their respective communities. These variations are as a result of the perception views and interpretations based on various beliefs and understanding (Wolf and Moser, 2011). According to Adejuwon (2004), farmers were affected by climate change not only in terms of altered weather patterns but also in terms of the adaptable techniques used in response to perceived causes of food production, a sustainable environment, and soil moisture and quality retention.

Additionally, in the north central part of Nigeria, the indigenous adaptation strategies to climate change used by farmers includes; use of wetlands, contour cropping across slopes, planting deeper than usual, intensive manure application, moving to new sites, change in planting dates, agro forestry and alternating animal and crop farming (Blessing et al., 2011). These practices are called indigenous because they are readily available to farmers and requires little or no technology for implementation and adaptation. Therefore, a survey will be conducted on assessment of indigenous farmers perception of climate change in Isin local government area, Kwara state.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

 The perception of climate change among indigenous farmers has been influenced by various factors. According to Danladi (2019), farmers perception was found to relate significantly to adaptation strategies and is because farmers were aware on climatic changes in their environment. This implies that the first step towards adaptation is the perception of the problem. However, Mustafa (2014), deduced from his finding, that farmers experiences to climate change in their environment overtime has increased their awareness and adaptation strategies for mitigation.Additionally, Grothmann and Patt (2005),asserts that  perception is a precondition for adaptation.Also, farmers have perceived changes in rainfall and temperature patterns over the years as evidence of climate change. Furthermore, in an inquiry into social limitations to climate change adaptation, Adger, Dessai,et al.(2007) argued that, in addition to limitations presented by availability of technology and the capacity for learning, other elements including perceptions and knowledge considerations within society fundamentally limit climate change adaptation.It is in the light of these that the study seeks to assess indigenous farmers perception of climate change in Isin local government area, Kwara state.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to assess of indigenous farmers perception of climate change in Isin local government area, Kwara state. Specifically, the study will;

1.        Assess  farmers’ awareness of climate change in Isin local government area, Kwara state.

2.        Assess farmers’ perceived impact of climate change in Isin local government area, Kwara state.

3.        Assess  farmers’ perception on the level of vulnerability to climate change in Isin local government area, Kwara state.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

1.        To what extent are farmers in Isin local government area, Kwara state aware of climate change?

2.        How do farmers in Isin local government area, Kwara stateperceive the impact of climate change on their agricultural practices?

3.        What is the level of vulnerability that farmers in Isin local government area, Kwara state believe they face in relation to climate change?

1.5  Significance of the Study

This study will give NGOs  a better understanding of the specific challenges faced by indigenous farmers, help implement projects to support adaptation and resilience-building initiatives. Additionally, this research will inform government agencies of the development of policies and programs aimed at supporting indigenous communities in adapting to changing environmental conditions. Further more, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to an assessment of indigenous farmers perception of climate change in Isin local government area, Kwara state.

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on an assessment of indigenous farmers perception of climate change in Isin local government area, Kwara state. Geographically, the study will be delimited to residents in Isin local government area, Kwara state.

1.7 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

 1.8 Definition of Terms

Indigenous farming: refers to mostly precolonial, traditional farming techniques, a historic agroforestry system that is low cost because farmers are not required to purchase external inputs to improve production, but rather, relies on locally available resources.

Perception: refers to beliefs or opinions often held by many people based on how things seem to them.It is to be informed, it concerns the way people understand the world, and how they interpret and apply meaning to their experiences (Blaikie, Brown, Stocking, Tang, Dixon and Silitoe, 1997).

Climate change: is the overall long-term characteristics of the weather experienced at a place. Climate change is thought of as a long-term summary of weather conditions, taking account of the average conditions as well as the variability of these conditions (Yekken, 2011).

Adaptation Strategies: refers to the practice of identifying options or methods to adapt to climate change and evaluating them in terms of criteria such as availability, benefits, costs, effectiveness, efficiency and feasibility (IPCC 2001).


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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