An analysis of environmental data and corresponding stakeholder perceptions with respect to climate change and crop production in Nigeria.

Ibeabuchi, Kelechi Obinna (2017) An analysis of environmental data and corresponding stakeholder perceptions with respect to climate change and crop production in Nigeria. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

The Nigerian agricultural sector is threatened by climate change and its impacts, and this work investigated how environmental forcing influenced crop productivity over a 30-yearperiod. Decadal variations of key staple food crops were assessed based on annual yields, and directly compared with environmental components: precipitation, humidity and extreme temperatures. Eight States that are key Nigerianstaple crop producers which substantially contribute to the economy,were used for the study. Statistical tests and analyses were undertaken in the context of agro-ecological zones using data provided by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency. For example, temporal and crop yield data were analysed using Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests and trend analyses, with significances (p) identified. In addition, questionnaires were designed to evaluate perceptions and awareness of different groups of the Nigerian population to impacts of climate change on agriculture. Threedifferent,but comparable,questionnaires were distributedamong farmers, the general public and government officials. There were 227 questionnaire responses from farmers; 401 from the general public and 50 from government officials.All questionnaire data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software, WinSTAT Statistics Software Add-In for Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheets, to identify correlations within and between questionnaire groups.Results showed that between 1971and 2011 maximum average temperatures, minimum average temperatures and precipitation increased in all States and across all agro-ecological zones. The central States of Edo, Kwara and Benue all showed statisticallymoderatecorrelationsfor maximum average temperatures, withR2values ranging between 30% and 40% (p <0.01).Similarly, between 1971and 2011 precipitation rose in all assessed States and agro-ecological zones. Statistically, Kano State showed the highest temporal correlation with an R2 value that explained 50% of data variation. Humidity also displayed a positive correlation indicative of increasing temporal trends with Kwara State displaying the highest correlation. A total of ten major crops were assessed within the eight States and agro-ecological zones, with data acquisition covering the period 1980 to 2010. Statistical analyses showed varying results throughout, for example, Kwara and Benue displayed decreasing bean yields highlighted by negative correlations, while Kogi State exhibited the highest positive correlation indicative of increasing yam yields. Results further showed that both Kwara and Kogi States are most suitable with Kano and Ogun States being least favourable for rice production.Further crop assessments showed: Kano State having the highest positive correlation for groundnut production; Kwara and Kano States having the highest negative correlation for maize production; Kwara and Ogun States being negatively correlated for cassava production; and Niger State having high negative correlations, indicative of decreasing Guinea corn yields. Questionnaire evaluations showed that most Nigerian farmers were fully aware of climate change and its impacts, with most complaining that due to higher costs therewas little or nothing they could do to address the issues. Furthermore, 64% of Nigerian farmers trusted information received from mass media, while the majority attributed climate change to anthropogenic factors (41%). Results showed that most farmers were more concerned about increasing rainfall and drought than other environmental issues. Interestingly, the majority of the Nigerian public believed that climate change was IBEABUCHI KELECHI OBINNA20caused by both natural and human-induced factors, with >71% thought that the Nigerian climate has already been affected. Most of the public believed they were experiencing climate change issues such as drought, pollution, flooding, soil erosion, desert encroachment and heavy rainfall. Similarly, the majority of government officials questioned believed that climate change was already affecting Nigeria and,similar to the public, believed that climate change was caused by both anthropogenic and natural factors. The majority of government officials (61%) thoughtpeople should be encouraged to reduce energy consumption and theirmajor concerns were the impacts on coastal zones, agricultural areas and water availability. However, much has already been donein the areas of flood protection, drought mitigation and coastal protection.In all, the three groups showed a high degree of understanding of climate change impacts and effects. Consequently, the thesis concludes by recommending crop diversification as a way of mitigating and adapting to climate change, with information sharing between academics, scientists, and government officials on how to mitigate and adapt. In conclusion, policy-makers must ensure that local farmers are supported and their institutions improved, as well as being educated on the threats, uncertainties and opportunities of climate change.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate change, agriculture, Nigeria
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Lesley Cresswell
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2020 11:37
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 10:36
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1180

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