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A FRAMEWORK FOR AGRICULTURAL ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN SOUTHERN NIGERIA

Keywords: Framework , Agricultural adaptation , Mitigation , Climate change , Effects , Impacts , Southern Nigeria.

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Abstract:

The agricultural sector which contributes between 20-50% of gross domestic product in Africa and employs about 60% of the population is greatly affected by climate change impacts. Agricultural productivity and food prices are expected to rise due to this impact thereby worsening the food insecurity and poor nutritional health conditions in the continent. Incidentally, the capacity in the continent to adapt is very low. Addressing these challenges will therefore require a holistic and integrated adaptation framework hence this study. A total of 360 respondents selected through a multi-stage random sampling technique participated in the study that took place in Southern Nigeria from 2008-2011. Results showed that majority of respondents (84%) were aware that some climate change characteristics such as uncertainties at the onset of farming season, extreme weather events including flooding and droughts, pests, diseases, weed infestation, and land degradation have all been on the increase. The most significant effects of climate change that manifested in the area were declining soil fertility and weed infestation. Some of the adaptation strategies adopted by farmers include increased weeding, changing the timing of farm operations, and processing of crops to reduce post-harvest losses. Although majority of respondents were aware of government policies aimed at protecting the environment, most of them agreed that these policies were not being effectively implemented. A mutually inclusive framework comprising of both indigenous and modern techniques, processes, practices and technologies was then developed from the study in order to guide farmers in adapting to climate change effects/impacts.

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