Understanding Farmers’ Response to Climate Variability in Nigeria: A Multinomial Logit Approach
In Nigeria, farming still depends largely on nature and therefore, vulnerable to climate variability. Climate variability affects production in a number of ways such as uncertainties with the onset of the farming season, flooding and drought in some areas. Farmers have responded by using adaptation strategies. The determinants of farmers’ use of these strategies have not been adequately ascertained. In this study, farmers ’response to climate variability was examined. Primary and secondary data were used. A multi-stage sampling procedure was adopted in the collection of the primary data using structured questionnaires. Four vegetation zones out of seven where farming is mainly carried out were selected for the study. Using a list of farmers from the Agricultural Development Project, 470 farmers were randomly selected based on probability proportionate to the number of farmers in each vegetation zone. They were administered structured questionnaire. Data collected included socio-economic characteristics of the farmers, adaptation strategies they used and constraints associated with them. Data on climate were collected from Nigeria Meteorological Station, Oshodi. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and multinomial logit models. Farmers used multiple adaptation strategies; Crop Diversification (CD), Soil Conservation Techniques (SCT) and Different Planting and Harvesting Dates (DPHD). Increase in farm size increased the likelihood of using CD (0.2741), DPHD (0.3240) and SCT (0.2741). Increases in temperature, cloud cover and sunshine decreased the likelihood of using crop diversification (0.3001, 0.0246 and 0.0703 respectively), different planting and harvesting dates (0.2113, 0.1085 and 0.1024 respectively) and soil conservation techniques (0.6131, 0.4311 and 0.7219 respectively). However, increase in precipitation increased the likelihood of using crop diversification (0.1924), different planting and harvesting dates (0.1413) and soil conservation techniques (0.3410) Adaptation strategies would cushion the harmful effects of increase in precipitation. Farmers should be encouraged to use adaptation strategies to sustain output.
Key words: Climate Variability, Adaptation Strategies, Vegetation Zones, Nigeria