Analysis of the determinants of rural households’ adaptation to climate change in Ibarapa Area of Oyo State, Nigeria
It is a common belief that rural farmers’ livelihoods are susceptible to climate change. Literature has even suggested that locally driven adaptations are critical complementary strategies that can be targeted to reduce the negative effects of climate change in the short-term. This study examined the determinants of rural households’ adaptation to climate change in Ibarapa Area of Oyo State, Nigeria. The paper also assessed farmers’ perceived effects of climate change on their livelihood and the strategies adopted by households to adapt to the effects of climate change, as well as the constraints to their adaptation to climate change. One hundred and twenty copies of questionnaire were administered to household heads out of which only one hundred and eighteen copies were found analysable and used for the study. The results showed that there were several effects of climate change perceived by the farmers. These include poor crop yields, which is the most noticeable effect by farmers. Others are a loss of livestock, environmental degradation, and even psychological trauma. The regression results revealed that several socioeconomic variables significantly influenced rural households’ decision to adapt to climate change. Some of these variables were farmers’ access to weather information, access to credit facilities, farming experience, household size. Some of the challenges rural households encountered in their bid to adapt to climate change were also identified. These were unpredictability of weather, high costs of farm inputs, lack of access to water during dry season and lack of access to timely weather information. It is therefore recommended that government through its agency, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, should provide timely weather information to farmers to help them plan their farming activities. In addition, irrigation facilities should be made available to farmers in the study area so that they can engage in dry season farming and make farm produce available all-year round. This will help boost food security status of farmers and by extension, the entire country.
Keywords: Climate Change, Adaptation strategies, Ibarapa, Mitigation, Rural Households