INCREASED CLIMATIC VARIABILITY AND ADAPTIVE CAPACITY OF CROP FARMERS IN BENUE STATE

Abstract

Agriculture as a source of food and fibre and contributor to sustenance of rural livelihoods is becoming continually exposed to threats coming with increased anomalies brought by the changing climate. Farmers find themselves having to respond to the vagaries of climate change in order to maintain food security and their livelihoods. This study utilised climatic data and socioeconomic data. Statistical methods were used to measure the status, trends, level for dispersion, anomalies and relationships between variables. The adaptive capacity index was calculated using scholarly methods. The daily rainfall average was 133.8mm. The annual average rainfall amount was 1194.1mm. The average annual temperature calculated was 27.84oC. Relative humidity was an annual average of 67.8%. The average daily solar radiation was 20.1 MJ m-2 day-1. The average vapour pressure deficit was 1.3 kPa. The ideal period for rain-fed crop cultivation was 168 days annually. The adaptive capacity index for the study area was 50.83% (moderate). The most vulnerable determinant was farm technology (18.75%). The least vulnerable determinant was networking (68.75%). Other determinants such as equity, farm management, and agricultural economic base revealed a percentage score of about 60% (moderate). The infrastructure determinant had a low percentage score of 36.25% (low). The adaptive capacity index of farmers in the Benue state is marginally moderate and needs to be improved upon by addressing the underlying gaps revealed through the determinant indices.

 

Key Word: Adaptive capacity, Vulnerability, Nigeria, Vapour pressure deficit, Climate change, Anomaly index

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