An Assessment of Crop Farmer Households’ Perceptions of Climate Change and Coping Strategies in Kano State, Nigeria
The study assessed crop farmer households’ perceptions of climate change and coping strategies in Kano State of Nigeria. Data for this study were obtained by the use of structured questionnaire and household head was used as the sampling unit. A total sample size of 407 crop farmer households were selected through simple random sampling and it represent 20% of the sample frame of 2036. Descriptive statistics such as percentage and mean scores were used to analyse the data collected for the study. Perception of farm household was judged by the mean scores derived from the 5-point Likert items. The study revealed that decrease in crop production (mean score M = 5) was the major perceived climate change effect on their crop production. This was followed by decrease in food availability (M=4.25), decrease soil fertility (M=3.86) and increase pest and disease infestation (M=3.79). The average mean score of the farmer’s perception of climate change on crop production was 3.93. This implies that the respondents in the study area agreed that climate change lead to decrease in crop production. The major coping strategy adopted by farmers in the study area was changing crop variety which was indicated by about 80% of the respondents. Other coping strategies include crop rotation (about 41%), mixed cropping and shifting cultivation constituting about 34% respectively. Based on these findings, it is recommended that crop farmers in the study area should be encouraged to use farm level adaptation measures. This can be achieved through developing appropriate farm-level climate adaptation technologies by research institutes and disseminating them to farmers at the appropriate time. Since most respondents used different varieties of crops to cope with climate change effects in the study area, agricultural organizations and research institute should put more effort in developing new varieties of crop that will suit the climatic conditions of the farmers and farmers should have direct link with the research institutes or seed companies in order to have access to the new seed varieties.
Keywords: Perception, coping strategies, crop farmer, household, climate change.