Farmer's Perceptions of Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies in Northern Nigeria: An Empirical Assessment

"This research paper looked at farmer's perception of causes, constraints and strategies towards effective climate change adaptation in northern Nigeria. Data were collected from 500 respondents using both qualitative and quantitative approaches through multistage random sampling technique. Simple descriptive statistics such as percentage and mean scores were used in data analysis. The results of the study showed that the respondents were informed of the incidence of climate change as regards uncertainties in terms of higher temperatures, delay in the onset of rains, erratic rainfall pattern; extremities of weather events such as desertification, heavy rainfall, drought; and increased farming problems such as loss of soil fertility; reduction in farm yields and high rate of disease incidence. The extent of climate change on farms were revealed by changes in uncertainties of onset of farming season, including the delay in onset of rainfall, less rainfall, higher temperature; extremities of weather events such as high sun intensity, loss of forest resources, heavy winds; and increase in farming problems, in particular, reduction in crop yields and loss of soil fertility. Respondents perceived the causes of climate change as bush burning, continuous cropping, deforestation and excess chemical use on farms. Adaptive strategies used included multiple cropping, intensive manure application, and use of wetland/fadama, use of resistant varieties, processing to minimize post harvest loss, and reforestation. Constraints to adaptation included: lack of financial resources, lack of access to weather forecasts, and limited access to improved crop varieties."