Investigation into the Methods of Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture by Farmers in Delta State, Nigeria
Climate change is having devastating impact on agriculture, lives and livelihood of farmers and rural communities across the globe. With extreme weather events like severe droughts, floods, hurricane, desertification etc, many farmers are facing a dire situation. This study set out to find out the vulnerabilities/challenges facing farmers as a result of climate change, identify the mitigation and adaptation strategies for building climate resilience in agriculture by farmers in Delta state. Semi-structured interview schedule was used in collecting data from 400 farmers across the state. The data was analysed using mean and simple percentage. Among the findings were that farmers are facing serious threats/challenges such as one circle/season of food production, absence of dry season production; decline in soil fertility, low yields; increased pests and diseases attack; high cost of production due to weather stress etc. It is also found out that mitigation strategies (actions to reduce Greenhouse gases (GHGs) include Assisted Natural regeneration (ANR) to retore degraded lands through tree planting./ afforestation; climate index-based insurance policy to help farmers mitigate climate-related risks. The adaptation strategies (action that help offset the effects of climate change will help farmers adjust and modify their production processes include: optimizing irrigation schemes; switching to varieties and breeds resistant to heat, drought and salinity; change in planting periods; integrated pest/fish production/management etc. The way forward to resilience building in farming include adoption of (Climate-Start Agriculture (CSA) and other agroecology concepts; contract farming practices to strengthen grower associations, prioritization of genetics to develop local breeds that are more resilient to climate change etc. Among the recommendations made was that concerted efforts to be made by the stakeholders to move the country away from one circle of food production by adopting the relevant innovations and technologies.