Agricultural vulnerability to climate change in Sokoto State, Nigeria
Although climate change is global threat, developing countries have been identified as most vulnerable owing to their low adaptive capacities. In Nigeria, while the impacts of climate cut across diverse sectors, agriculture remains the most susceptible due to the predominance of rainfed agriculture. This paper examines agricultural vulnerability to climate change in eight selected rural settlements in Sokoto State, Nigeria adopting the integrated approach which combines environmental and socio-economic determinants. Monthly rainfall, raindays and temperatures (minimum and maximum) data for Sokoto (1951-2010) were sourced from the archives of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Lagos. The annual rainfall, total of raindays and mean temperature were computed and used for the trends analyses of the climatic variables while the annual drought intensities for Sokoto synoptic weather station were computed from the annual rainfall data. Data on the environmental and socio-economic determinants of agricultural vulnerability to climate change were collected from 234 selected farmers using structured questionnaire. Multiple linear regression was used to examine the relationship between the agricultural vulnerability of the sampled farmers and the determinants. Stepwise regression was used to resolve the issue of multi-collinearity in the independent variables and consequently enhance the strength of the model. Results show that while there were downward trends of annual rainfall and raindays in Sokoto, annual mean temperatures show upward trend. Annual droughts were of slight and moderate intensities during the period under review. The results also revealed that unreliable rainfall, desertification, increasing temperatures, scarcity of pastures and inaccessibility to credit facilities accounted for 86% of the variation of agricultural vulnerability to climate change in the selected settlements in Sokoto State. The paper concludes that the determinants of agricultural vulnerability to climate change in the selected settlements in Sokoto State connote environmental and socio-economical stressors. The paper, therefore, recommends development of irrigation projects and planned grazing as well as provision of soft and accessible loan facilities to local farmers on a sustainable basis.
Keywords: Climate change, drought, agriculture, vulnerability
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