Evaluation Of Farmers’ Awareness, Perception And Adaptation Strategies Of Cocoa (Theobroma Cacao Linn.) Production To Climate Change Inthe South West Parts Of Nigeria

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V.I. Esan, I. Okedigba, M. B Lawi

Department of Environmental Management and Crop Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Bowen University Iwo, Nigeria

 

 Climate change remains a strong menace to agriculture and food security in Africa. Therefore, the specific objectives of this study were to assess farmers’ awareness, perception and adaption measures to climate change and also to determine the perceived causes and consequences occasioned by climate change in the areas of this study. A survey questionnaire was administered to 111 cocoa farmers using a multi-stage sampling technique in five villages from two local government areas in Osun and Oyo States. Direct observation, field visit and focus group discussion were conducted. Data collected during the survey were processed and subjected to various statistical analyses including frequencies, percentage, binary cross-tabulation and Chi-square.Findings reveal that a large percentage of respondents (95.5%) were aware of changes in climate through self-observation. 79.3% of farmers perceived decrease in annual rainfall over the past 10 years, 78.2% did perceive dry spell during the rainy season, and 56.8% of cocoa producers perceived that precipitation became unpredictable, while 72% of farmers interviewed perceive that temperature and heat has increased. The results of this work also indicate that farmers perceived low yield (87.4%), abortion of flowers (54.1%), drying of flowers (57.7%), small cocoa pods (21.6%) and only 4.5% and 1.8% of farmers attached these perceived consequences to insects/pathogen attack and plant death. 61.4% of farmers ascribed these perceived changes to natural evolution, while 28.8% assumed that the changes in climate are as a result of human activities, others (3.6%) are of the view that the changes is a true reflection of God’ wrath and deforestation. The effects of changes in climate are evident and farmers applied different adaptation strategies to cope with the impacts of climate change. Breeders to develop and disseminate new cocoa varieties resistant to climate change.

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