Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Banana Yields in the CDC- Delmonte Banana Project, Tiko, South West Region, Cameroon
Climate variability and change are existing sets of conditions which affect crop productivity. An evaluation of their impacts on banana yield in the CDC-DelMonte Banana Project at Tiko is fundamental in conceiving adaptation strategies towards coping with, and minimizing their deleterious impacts for maximum productivity within the present trends on global climate change. An assessment of records of past climatic data (rainfall and temperatures) recorded within three zones ( Mondoni, Tiko and Benoe ) of the Project from 1990 to 2010 indicated decreasing trends in total annual rainfall and increasing trends in averaged annual temperatures in the Mondoni and Tiko zones while the Benoe Zone showed increasing rainfall and decreasing temperatures. An evaluation of banana productivity per unit hectare indicated decreasing trends in all three zones. Nematode infestations (Radopholus sp, Hoploilaimus sp) were found to be more prevalent in the Tiko Zone followed by Mondoni with mean maximum temperatures for March 2011 of 34.0oC and 32.2oC, respectively, while the Benoe Zone with a mean maximum temperature of 27.2oC was least. This indicates that nematode populations are favoured by decreased rainfall and increased temperatures. Consequently, the prevailing increasing trends of temperature locally and globally, and the general decrease in total annual rainfall with time are causes for future concern in banana production and nematode infestation in particular in the study area.
Keywords: Tiko, CDC-Delmonte, climate change, climate variability, banana productivity, nematode infestation, adaptation strategies