Dealing with Rainfall Variability for food Production in the Nigerian Savannah

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Oloukoi, G
Fasona, M.J
Olorunfemi, F.B
Adedayo, V
Elias, P.O
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Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
The chapter investigates the observed and perceived trends and effects of rainfall on food production and identifies options that are adopted by farmers in dealing with the impacts in the Nigerian savannah. Data were sourced via community engagement, key informant interviews, and a survey of 191 farming households from 11 farm settlements in the region. Arithmetic monthly means of rainfall and temperature data from six meteorological stations within the ecological zones were used to generate the past and long-term trends of local climate. The study shows no significant variation of monthly mean rainfall across three decades of the observed data. However, there were similarities between the observed long-term averages of the station data and local perception that the amount of annual rainfall is decreasing, with delay in the onset of rain and increased trend of temperature. The variability impacts land-related livelihoods activities which are substantially tied to rain feeding. Annual planting seasons for cereals is changing from double to single, while harvest of tubers and nuts are gradually reducing. There are no organized adaptation frameworks, but when impacts are perceived by the farmers, coping ensued in the form of crop switch as on-farm modification and charcoal production as a form of off-farm livelihoods diversification. Available coping mechanisms are not adequate because they are leading to the ecosystem degradation. Local capacities need to be enhanced for improved food security and protection of ecosystems in the study area.
Scholarly article
Climate adaptation , Nigerian Savannah , Farming households , Rainfall trends , Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
In Leal Filho, Walter (Ed.): Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation, p1807-1834, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Doi:10.1007/SpringerReference_369239.