Perceived Effects of Climate Variability on Cassava Production among Small Scale Farmers in Anambra State, Nigeria

Samuel E. Anarah, Caleb I. Ezeano, Ogonna O. Osuafor


Climate variability is one of the predominant themes in agricultural research. Climate variations can seriously affect agricultural production. It brings about changes in weather patterns which in turn give rise to imbalances in seasonal cycles, harm to ecosystems and water supply affecting agriculture and food production. Extreme weather events such as floods, landslides and drought are caused by climate variation. Studies have shown that root crops such as cassava are most vulnerable to the impact of climate variability. This paper therefore investigated the perceived effects of climate variability on cassava production among small scale farmers in Anambra State. Specifically, the study described the socioeconomic characteristics of small scale cassava farmers in the state; identified the activities of small scale cassava farmers that contribute to climate variability; and ascertained the perception and levels of awareness of climate variability by small scale cassava farmers in the study area. A multi-stage sampling technique was used in selecting the sample units for the study. The instrument for data collection was a well-structured questionnaire based on the objectives. Descriptive statistics was used to actualize the objectives while the hypothesis was tested using multiple linear regression model. The result of the socioeconomic variables showed that majority of the small-scale cassava farmers were within the age range of 41-50 years; majority (59.38 %) of the respondents were females; majority (32.03%) have 7 to 11 years of farming experience; majority of the respondents (35.94 %) have farm size of 0.1 to 0.5 hectares; majority of the farmers (42.19 %) belong to 3 to 4 farming organizations; majority of the farmers (42.19 %) make  income of ₦50,000 to ₦100,000; and majority of the farmers (53.13 %) produce  yield of 3000 to 4000 kg of cassava. Result of the activities of small scale cassava farmers that contribute to climate variability show that majority of the farmers (88.28 %) perceived that bush burning contribute to climate variability while (82.03%), (60.16%), (56.25%) and (50.78%) indicated that intensive agricultural land use, use of inorganic fertilizers, use of fossil fuels and deforestation contribute also to climate variability, respectively. Based on the perception and level of awareness of climate variability by small scale cassava farmers in the study area, the result show that the farmers were significantly aware of the following climate variability; early onset of rainfall and early cessation; decreased rainfall days; shorter than normal rainfall; absence of frost; low intensity rainfall; flash flooding; unusual patterns of precipitation and high sunshine intensity. It was also found that significant relationship exists between socio-economic characteristics and production level by the small scale cassava farmers. Recommendations were made based on the findings.

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Journal of Agricultural Studies   ISSN 2166-0379

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