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Geography & Environmental Management

Assessment Of The Perception Of Local Farmers On Climate Change In Ehime Mbano L G A Of Imo State




This study was intended to assess the perception of local farmers on climate change in Ehime Mbano L.G.A of Imo state, Nigeria. The study was guided by the following objectives; to examine level of knowledge or awareness of the farmers about climate change in the area, to investigate their source of information on the issue of climate change, to investigate the perception of the farmers about the issues at stake, to examine any strategies adopted by the farmers to cope with the issues of climate change in the area. The study employed field survey method encompassing direct interview and administration of structured questionnaires in addition to library research and relevant literatures were applied in order to collect data. Primary and secondary data sources were used and data was analyzed using statistical packages which were presented in frequency tables and percentage. Six communities were randomly selected from the study area and two villages sampled in each community. Sample size was 25 questionnaires per village. The study findings revealed that there is high level of knowledge and awareness of the climate change phenomenon in the area. Likewise various actions and coping strategies have been adopted to ameliorate the effects that have aroused due to climate change.




Climate change is one of the greatest contemporary environmental challenges and is global in dimension. The rising incidences of extreme climatic events associated with climate change are giving the greatest of concerns. Events such as prolonged dry seasons, long rainfall durations and excessively long harmattan are worrying. More and more people are getting to ask about what can be done to minimize the impact of climate change.

The Inter-government panel on climate change (IPCC, 2007) defined climate change as statistically significant variations in climate that persist for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It includes shifts in the frequency and magnitude of sporadic weather events as well as the slow continuous rise in global mean surface temperature.

Climate change is a change in climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activities. It affects the atmospheric condition of the earth surface thereby leading to global warming. Climate change has the potential to affect all natural systems thereby becoming a threat to human development and survival, socially, politically and economically (Raymond and Victoria, 2008). Interest in these issues has motivated a substantial body of research on climate change and agriculture over the past decades (Fischer, et al, 2002, Darwin, 2004, Lobell, et al, 2008, Nelson, et al, 2009). Climate change is expected to influence crop production, hydrological balance, input supplies and other agricultural components. However, the change occur due to the variation in different climatic parameters such as cloud cover, precipitation, temperature and increase in green House Gases (GHGs) emission through human activities. Adverse impact of climate change in Nigeria include frequent drought, increase rural-urban migration, increas3ed biodiversity loss, depletion of wildlife and other natural resource base, change in vegetation types, increased health risk and spread of  infectious diseases and change in livelihood systems ( Abaje and Giwa, 2007, Hassan and Nhemachena, 2008).

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Agriculture employs over 70% of the Nigeria population, contributes about 41% of GDP, accounts for 5% total exports and provides 88% of non-oil earnings. Almost all sector of agriculture which include crop production, livestock farming, pastorialism, fishery e.t.c depends on climate whose variability have meant that local farmers who implement their regular annual farm business plan risk total failure due to climate change effects (Ozor, et al, 2010). The conditions emanating from climate change are bound to compromise agriculture production (crop, livestock, forest and fishery resources), nutritional and health status, trading in agricultural commodities, human settlement especially of agricultural communities, tourism and recreations among others. Nigeria like other sub Sahara African countries is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change (IPCC, 2007). Despite the fact that efforts has been made towards fighting climate change from scientific views, researches and policies directed towards indigenous and perceptions are highly needed . Understanding of local perception is useful in assessing the true implication of changing climate. Therefore there is need to gain as much information as possible and learn the position of farmers and their needs and about what they know about climate change, in order to offer adaptation practices that meets these needs.


Climate change is a serious challenge to socio-economic development even in the developed countries of the world. In Nigeria and other parts of Africa, agriculture occupies a critical position particularly in food production and creation of employment. A significant proportion of actors in the agricultural sectors are however, likely to have little or no idea about climate change because of their level of awareness. Although they suffer more of the impact of climate change, they probably do not know the depth of what is happening in the system. There is therefore a need to gain understanding of the farmer perception of climate change so they can be targeted appropriately in climate change response actions.

Action Aid (2008) reports that farmers in the south eastern part of Nigeria have continued to complain of reduction in farm output arising from the uncertainty of rainfall patterns, increased erosion resulting from heavy downpour which simultaneously destroys the fertility of the soil and at times washing away of plants and human settlements. The unfortunate aspect of the climate change dilemma in Nigeria is that most farmers do not understand or appreciate their contributions to climate change devastations. Evidence abounds in climate change literatures that farmers are aware that this change has negatively affected their output (Enete et al, 2011) but what they do not seem to appreciate is how their farming activities drive climate change. It is therefore important to investigate how farmers, who are major environmental stakeholders, percieve the issue of climate change, what type of change they have observed in the past and how they have coped with them. Answers to these questions constitute the purpose of this study.

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  • Is there climate change in the study area?
  • What level of awareness do farmers have about climate change and what actions do they take?
  • What are their sources of information about climate change?
  • What are the coping strategies adopted
  • What actions can Government take to alleviate the problem of climate



The aim of the study is to assess the perception of local farmers on climate change in Ehime Mbano L.G.A of Imo state

The specific objectives are;

  1. To examine the level of knowledge or awareness of the farmers about climate change in the area
  2. To investigate their sources of information on the issue of climate change
  3. To identify some of the effects of climate change in the study area
  4. To investigate the perception of farmers about or on the issue of climate change.
  5. To examine any strategies adopted by farmers to cope with the issues of climate change in the area.

Null hypotheses to be tested are as follows;

  1. Farmer’s knowledge of climate change has no effect on their productivity in the area.
  2. The farmer’s perception on climate change has no significant relationship with reducing the effects of the change on their productivity.

This research geographically limited to the study area; Ehime Mbano L.G.A of Imo state. Though it findings and suggestions could be used beyond the study area.

The scope of the study includes investigation into the current level of local farmer’s awareness and perception of climate change and it impact in their environment. It also investigates their sources of information about climate change, coping strategies adopted as well as government actions in alleviating the effects of climate change in the area.


The issue of climate change has turned out to be an everyday phenomenon. The changing climate is currently having an adverse effect, which is expected to become more and more with time, unless adequate control measures are taken to reduce these effects. This study is to assess the perception of local farmers on climate change and it will be significant in the following ways;

  • It will create awareness among federal, state and local governments as well as among illiterate population about the issue of climate change and the impact arising from it in that particular environment.
  • The recommendations from this research will help farmers to adapt to the rising issue of climate change, as well as helping them derive convenient farming technique that will reduce the effects of climate change on their annual crop yield.
  • This research will also be useful to students, scholars and researchers and research institutes that will find the results of the study useful in their various research and academic activities for further studies.
  • This study also touches areas of human activities such as agriculture, water, urban and regional planning and health issues that are easily affected by climate change.

This research is limited by some factors such as inadequate sources of relevant materials and time needed to complete the research. Another important limitation is inadequate relevant literature on the subject matter; hence this research has the potential of increasing the prevailing knowledge of the perception of local farmers on climate change.

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The research is also limited by the type of information supplied by the population of the study area and the suspicion with which they treated the research question items in the questionnaire and oral interview sessions.


The study are of the research is Ehime Mbano local Government area of Imo state. The local government area is located in the Okigwe senatorial Zone of the state. It has it Northern boundary with Okigwe local Government area, it Southern boundary with Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government area, it Eastern Boundary by Ihitte-Uboma Local Government area, and it western boundary with Isiala Mbano local Government area. The study area is made up of 29 autonomous communities with a total population of 130,934 out of which 67,190 are males and 63,741 are females (NPC, Ehime Mbano L.G.A, 2006).

The area is located within the tropical lowland forest zone with annual rainfall of up to 251mm and average temperature of 33.3°C. The land is generally plain with some area undulating and rugged including clay soil. The area enjoys two distinctly marked seasons in the year i.e. rainy and dry seasons which last from March to October and November to February respectively.

Major occupation of the people in the area is agriculture with majority of the population involved in one farming activities or the other. It is home to many subsistence farmers whose cropping system is dominantly mixed cropping

The cropping system could exist in the form of inter-cropping cassava, yam, maize, melon, cocoyam and vegetables. Some individuals also engage in livestock rearing.

Pages:  107

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF

Chapters: 1-5

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References

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