Journal of Agricultural Extension

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Knowledge, Perception and Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change among Farmers in Southern Agricultural Zone of Nasarawa State, Nigeria

ES Salau, EG Onuk, A Ibrahim


Climate change is perhaps the most serious environmental threat facing mankind worldwide. The study was designed to assess the knowledge, perception and adaptation strategies to climate change among farmers in southern agricultural zone of Nasarawa state. The specific objectives were to: identify the sources of information on climate change by respondents; assess their knowledge and perception of climate change
phenomenon; identify adaptation strategies used and the factors militating against their adaptive capacity. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select a total of 150 respondents from the zone for the study. Data collection was through an interview schedule. Simple descriptive statistics such as frequency, percentage and mean scores were used to
achieve the objectives. The null hypothesis was tested using a multiple regression model. The mean age of the respondents was 48 years. Majority (89.33%) of them were males while their average farming experience was 27 years. Most (38%) of the farmers in the area had no formal education and majority (76.7%) of them used inherited farmlands. Annual income level of the respondents was encouraging with a mean of N326, 461.30 per annum. Most (68%) of them relied on radio as their
major source of information on climate change. The perceived indicators of climate change included excessive high temperatures, low and irregular rainfall pattern and low crop yields among others. Adaptation strategies used by the respondents included agro-forestry practices, crop diversification, use of organic manures, planting of early maturing and disease/drought resistant varieties. The major constraints to adaptation by the respondents were inadequate finance, poor infrastructures, unfavourable government/trade policies and poor technology. It was recommended that adult education programmes should be strengthened in the area to reduce illiteracy among farmers. Extension agents in the
area should incorporate climate change information in their extension messages while government should intensify efforts in the area of integrated rural development.
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