Farmers’ Perception of Climate Change and Coping Strategies across Gender in Two Agro-Ecological Zones of Nigeria
This study examined farmers’ perception of climate change and coping strategies across gender in two agro-ecological zones of Nigeria. Two agro-ecological zones namely north-central and north-west were purposively selected and one State Agricultural Development Project each namely Niger and Kaduna were selected repectively. Structured questionnaire was used to elicit information from 140 respondents. Data were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Personal experience was the most prominent means through which females (35.7%) and males (38.6%) became aware of climate change. Majority of the females (85.7%) and males (74.3%) in the north-central zone , started to notice the effect of climate change only about 1-5years ago. About 89% of males and 82% of females opined that yearly rainfull begins late. About 97% of the female and 99% of the males were of the opinion that there had been gradual reduction of vegetation cover. General perception by both females (mean=3.2) and males (mean=3.2) was that climate change reduces the yield of crops, increase the cost of crop production and reduces the productivity of livestock and also time spent by the females to look for water for domestic use had increased. Chi-square analysis indicated positive and significant relationship between perception of climate change and farm size (X2 = 4.1; p<0.05) in north- central and farming experience (X2 = 7.3; p<0.05) in north west zone. The results of t-test analysis showed significant difference between how the females and males perceived the effect of climate change with regards to rainfall ending early (t(138)=2.5; p<0.05) and time spent to look for water for cooking food has increased(t(138)=2.2;p<0.05). A multi-media enlightenment campagn of the effects and posssible coping strategies of climate change should be adopted by all tiers of government and NGOs to reach the farmers using available extension structure on ground. Also, farming communities can run local disaster risk committees to encourage local adaptation measures as survival tactics for the purpose of ensuring food security.
Key Words: Gender, Farmers Perception, Coping strategies, Climate Change, Agro-ecological Zone