This research studied climate variability and change and how farmers respond to such change in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. You can Read Also: CLIMATE CHANGE VARIABILITY AND ADAPTATION MEASURES IN IVO L.G.A. To learn more about climate change, Click HERE
CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND CHANGE – RICE FARMERS IN EBONYI L.G.A, EBONYI STATE
The objectives of the study were to: describe personal and
socio-economic characteristics of rice farmers in the study area,
ascertain perception of climate change and variability by the
respondents in the study area; examine the effects of climate
variability and change on rice production in the study area; describe
farmers response to climate variability and change in the area;
identify the constraints faced by farmers in responding to climate
variability and change in the area.
The sampling technique adopted was a Multi-stage sampling technique which was used to select 60 respondents who supplied data for the study. Questionnaire was used to collect data while the collected data were analyzed using relevant descriptive and inferential statistics.
The result shows that majority of the rice farmers in the area (51.66%) were of the age 31 – 40 years with mean age of the rice farmers was 39 years. About 61.67% were males. About 71.67% were married, 56.67% had household sizes of between 7 – 9 persons with the mean of 8 persons, 55.00% earned total annual income of between N150,001 – N200,000, 3.33% earned above N200,000 with mean annual income of N172,080, 85% of them had acquired formal education whereas 60.00% of them had farm size of between 0.5 – 1.0 hectares in scattered plots. 75.00% were not members of farmers’ association while 63.80% of the respondents were mainly into farming as their major occupation. 56.70% were those who had been into farming for between 5 – 10 years with mean years of farming experience of 9 years.
A good number of them (71.70%) were into production of low land rice whereas 28.30% were into production of upland rice. 40% sourced their rice seeds from the open market whereas the least (3.3%) sourced their seeds from friends. Most of them (51.7%) planted their rice seeds between June and July. Majority (58.3%) of the respondents produced between 2 – tons of rice per hectare with mean production of 2.7 tonnes of rice per hectare. A significant population (70%) did not have access to loan. Most (66.7%) of those who got loan sourced their loan from cooperative societies.
Furthermore, it was observed that majority (86.67%) of the respondents were aware of climate change and its significant effects on their rice farming activities. Again, majority of the respondents (76.7%) got to know about climate variability and change through farmers’ cooperative societies.
Result further shows that most of the most predominant ways climate change were perceived by the respondents included; the amount of rainfall has changed (3.42), increase in intensity of sunshine (2.93), unpredictable rainfall pattern (2.88) and the temperature of the environment has increased (2.59).
More so, climate variability and change had most severe effect as; shortage of rainfall (3.64), increased occurrence of rainfall (2.62) and poor yield of rice (2.79). Subsequently, majority of the respondents (85%%) adopted planting of certified seeds, 73.33% adopted early planting while 61.7% adopted planting of early maturing variety as ways of responding to climate variability and change in the area.
The constraints to rice farmers’ response to climate variability and change are; poor educational background (0.863), inadequate capital (0.771), lack of weather information (0.913), lack of extension information (0.810), Poor access to credit (0.872), poor subsidization of cost (0.838) and poor policy implementation (0.676).
Two null hypotheses tested at 5% level of significance were both rejected and the alternatives accepted.
Based on the study findings, the recommendations were made; Government institutions, particularly extension service should be strengthened to provide climate information and adaptive technologies to rice farmers, government and its ministry of agriculture should subsidize the cost of adoption of climate change adaptation measures to encourage easy adoption by rural farmers and credit should be made available and easily accessible to rice farmers to enable them adopt climate change and variability adaptation measures for improved productivity.
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