ASSESSMENT OF FACTORS INFLUENCING USE OF CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION PRACTICES BY RICE FARMERS IN NORTH-WEST NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT
Researches on adaptation-climate change interaction have been conducted mainly in the southern parts of Nigeria with relatively few in North-East and North-Central and seldom, if any, in the North-West. This study, covering three States in the North-West, therefore, will bridge the existing gap in knowledge on climate change adaptation information in Nigeria. It assessed the factors influencing the use of climate change adaptation practices among rice farmers in Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States of North-West Nigeria. This study specifically assessed the perceived effects of climate change on rice production among the farmers, examined the rice farmers‘ attitude to use of climate change adaptation practices in the study area, determined the factors influencing the use of climate change adaptation practices among rice farmers, and identified and described the constraints to the use of climate change adaptation practices by rice farmers among others. Data were collected from a sample of 522 farmers randomly selected in a multistage sampling procedure. Data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Frequencies, percentages and means were used for data analysis. Chi-square analysis was used to determine the relationship between perceived effects of climate change on rice production and rice yield, the relationship between attitude of rice farmers and use of climate change adaptation practices and the relationship between farmers‘ use climate change adaptation practices and their level of living. Tobit regression analysis was used to determine the factors influencing the use of climate change adaptation practices by the respondents. Linear regression was used to determine the relationship between factors influencing the use of climate change adaptation practices and perceived effects of climate change on rice production. Results of the data analysis revealed that majority (61.49%) of the respondents fell within the range of 41–60 years of age, were males (93.49%) and married (87.74%) with a household size of 10-19 (57.35%) individuals. Over 55% of them had a formal
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education. Their mean farming experience was 25.49 years. They had an average rice income of N308,742.00. Majority (84.48%) of the respondents used improved rice varieties, intercropping (77.40%), moderate use of fertilizers (93.10%) and chemicals (89.85%)as climate change adaptation practices. Result of the Tobit regression analysis indicated that education, weather information, extension contact, years of cooperative membership and affordability of using climate change adaptation practices were statistically significant (p<0.01). Farming experience and farm size were significant (p<0.05) while sex was significant (p<0.10). Majority of the respondents perceived most of the climate change adaptation practices as affordable, usable and favourable. They, also, perceived that climate change is posing risks to rice production (X=2.16), would lower rice production (X =2.07) and would continue to affect storage of rice (X =2.01).Result of the Chi-square test showed a significant relationship (p<0.01) between attitude of the rice farmers to use of climate change adaptation practices and use of the practices with a chi-square value of 12.7952. Majority of the respondents (85.82%) reported low income, high cost of improved rice varieties (83.14%) and poor access to information relevant to adaptation (79.89%) as constraints to use of climate change adaptation practices among others. It was concluded that years of formal education, farm size, climate change awareness, extension contact, years of cooperative membership and affordability of using climate change adaptation practices were the major factors influencing the use of climate change adaptation practices among rice farmers in North-West, Nigeria. Other factors were sex, farming experience and weather information. The need for improving the extension agents-farmer contact by the State governments, making enough credits readily available to farmers and awareness creation campaign by both governments and non-governmental organizations concerned with agricultural development to educate the farmers on the importance of mulching planting   of   cover   crops    and   trees    for   soil    conservation   were    some    of   the recommendations made.

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