Farmers’ Notion of Climate Change and Response to Rainfall Variability in a Nigerian Coastal Settlement of Oron

John. A. Adeyanju, John O. Esin


The study investigated farmers’ notion of climate change and their response to rainfall variability in Oron, a Coastal settlement in Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study is to determine farmer’s notion of climate and their response to climate variability. The farmers’ perception of climate change  is necessary for preparedness and planning purposes in an agrarian community in order to boost farm productivity. Through the use of structured questionnaires, data for the study was obtained from 400 farmers’ in 17 randomly sampled villages in Oron. The data was complemented by information obtained through focus group discussion, participatory rural appraisal, direct field observations and in-depth interviews of key informants. To aid the analysis, data on some climatic variables from 2003 to 2013 were obtained from the study area and analysed to show the behavior of annual precipitation, wet  and dry seasons precipitation and to compare results with the farmers’ notion of climate change. In the same vein, the number of drought years occurring in the study area was calculated using Shewale and Kumar (2005) method. The study reveals that (i)  most of the farmers’ were unaware of the concept of climate change, even though they have considerable knowledge of major changes taking place in their environment (ii)  The farmers have general feeling of uncertainty about the best time to plant crops due to the unpredictability of rainfall and the difficulties in planning farming activities  (iii) the number of extreme rain event per year in the study area does not appear to be increasing, indicating that farming has not become more vulnerable to such phenomena. All the farmers indicated the need for  planting early maturing seed and changing the timing of planting, as a response strategies to mitigate the effect of climate variability in the study area. The study, thus concludes that unless urgent steps are taken to educate the farmers’ about their notion of climate variability and the possible pathways to adaptation, the coastal settlement  is vulnerable to food insecurity.

Keywords: Climate change; Farmers notion; Rainfall variability; Coastal settlement.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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