Climate change and poultry production in Nigeria: Farmers’ perception of the effects and adaptation strategies in derived Savannah Zone of Enugu State
The study examined perceived effects and adaptation measures employed by poultry farmers against climate change in derived savannah zone of Enugu State. One hundred and twenty randomly selected poultry farmers were used. The respondents were mainly small scale with 6 years of experience in poultry production and average farm size of 103 birds. Majority of the farmers had moderate knowledge of climate change. The perceived effects of climate change on production were increased diseases and pest strains and infestation (M=3.3), regular wet animal feaces (M = 3.3), higher mortality of birds (M=3.2), additional cost of production (M= 3.0), increased feed consumption (2.8), scarcity of livestock feed (M= 2.9), irregular humidity/temperature (M=2.6), reduced feed conversion (M =2.5) and others. Farmers adapted to these problems using timely and extra vaccination (98.3%), establishment of shades near poultry houses (89.2%) and regular practice of several other routine/ management practices in the farm. However, the respondents encountered difficulties in adapting to climate change such as high cost of production (M= 4.5), poor access to/failure of veterinary drugs and vaccines (M=4.4), poor agricultural extension services (M=4.4), inadequate capital (M=4.2),labour intensive nature of adaptation options (M=4.1),inadequate information on climate
change issues (M=4.1) and others. Primarily, the study recommends that there should be increased climate literacy among poultry farmers and provision of useful information and technical knowledge on the more sustainable adaptation options through research and extension services.
Keywords: climate change, adaptation, management, practices