Smallholder farmers perceptions of and adaptations to climate change in the Nigerian savanna
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Tambo JA, Abdoulaye T. 2013. Smallholder farmers perceptions of and adaptations to climate change in the Nigerian savanna. Regional Environmental Change 13(2):375-388
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/42094
The savanna region of Africa is a potential breadbasket of the continent but is severely affected by climate change. Understanding farmers perceptions of climate change and the types of adjustments they have made in their farming practices in response to these changes will offer some insights into necessary interventions to ensure a successful adaptation in the region. This paper explores how smallholder farmers in the Nigerian savanna perceive and adapt to climate change. It is based on a field survey carried out among 200 smallholder farm households selected from two agro-ecological zones. The results show that most of the farmers have noticed changes in climate and have consequently adjusted their farming practices to adapt. There are no large differences in the adaptation practices across the region, but farmers in Sudan savanna agro-ecological zone are more likely to adapt to changes in temperature than those in northern Guinea savanna. The main adaptation methods include varying planting dates, use of drought tolerant and early maturing varieties and tree planting. Some of the farmers are facing limitations in adapting because of lack of information on climate change and the suitable adaptation measures and lack of credit. The study then concludes that to ensure successful adaptation to climate change in the region, concerted efforts are needed to design and promote planned adaptation measures that fit into the local context and also to educate farmers on climate change and appropriate adaptation measures.