Cocoa farming households’ vulnerability to climate variability in Ekiti State, Nigeria
Rural livelihoods in south western Nigeria are at risk to climate variability on the short run and climate change on the long run. This subjects agro ecological niches to high sensitivity and exposure thus reducing the adaptive capacity. Vulnerability results and the cocoa farming households, the major contributors to the Nigerian non-oil foreign exchange earnings are not exempted. This paper therefore attempts to assess the degree of vulnerability of cocoa farmers in Ekiti State to climate variability hazards using the Integrated Vulnerability Assessment Approach (IVAA). Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 120 cocoa farmers from whom data were generated for this study. Data were processed using the Principal Component Analysis (PCA).The result indicated that Cocoa farmers in Ekiti North, Ekiti South and Ekiti Central Agro Ecological Zones (AEZs) had the vulnerability index of -0.05, -0.76 and 0.82. This implies the first two zones are more relatively vulnerable as compared to the Ekiti Central AEZ. This is attributable to the higher exposure, sensitivity and the lower adaptive capacity in the Ekiti North and South AEZs in relation to the Central. The relative low level development and poor adaptive capacity in terms of access to basic infrastructure, technology, institutions and pervading poverty in the first two AEZs can be held accountable for this. All efforts should be in put in place by all relevant agencies to promote integrated rural development that enhances investment in infrastructure and alleviation of poverty. National regulations that restrict anthropogenic activities inimical to climate variability should be put in place. Efforts should equally be made by our national government to endorse and key-in to international treaties and protocols that control climate variability and change.