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CHAPTER ONE 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the Study
Climate change refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity (lPCC, 2006). Climate change refers to a change of climate variables that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activities which alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods by UN Framework Convention on Climate change (UNFCCC, 20O6). Man is the major cause of the current global climate change (Thick Tri Quang, 1996). In Nigeria, facts on climate change as reported by the Nigeria Environmental Study and Action Team (NEST, 2007) include issues such as poor nutrition, low Agricultural yields, poverty, proliferation of diseases vectors and insects, malaria, sleeping sickness, dengue fever, schistosomiasis etc. Other impacts of climate change include desertification and soil erosion in Northern and southern part of Nigeria (Okali, 2007). At present, the earth appears to be facing a rapid warming, which most scientists believe result mostly from human activities (Hart, 2006,
Ehrenfield, 2005, Rosenbaum et al., 2004).
Essentially, forest eco-systems are an important consideration in the development of climate change mitigation strategies because they can both be sources and sink of green house gases (Dinicola et al., 1997).
In agricultural sector, climate change will lead to reduction in soil fertility, change in the availability of feed and fodder, decreased livestock productivity, increased incidence of Pest attack and the manifestation of vector born diseases. Similarly, heat stress and drought are likely to have a negative impact on animal health, production of dairy products, meats, and reproduction (SCBD, 2007). This in turn could impact on food security leading to protein deficiency and malnutrition (McCarth et al., 2001).
The implication of this is that the rural people based on their knowledge of climate change involving of weather variable like temperature, rain, humidity, visibility emanating from fog or dust storm as they affect their farming activities (Chapman, 2010).
The impact of climate change on farmers in the study area were evident with increased growing season of crops, low soil moisture content, and low yield from farm produce. They claimed that all these problems were as a result of change in timing of rainfall. It is no longer easy to predict the onset and cessation period of rains. This claim was confirmed by the finding of Omotosho (1992) that, the prediction of onset and cessation date determine the cultural practice of farmers.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Climate change adversely affects the population and variety of plant and animal species, resulting in the scarcity or out-rights extinction of many important plant and animal species. In these areas climate change have greater negative impacts on poorer farm households as they have the lowest capacity to adapt to changed climatic condition.
Although the issue of climate change and biodiversity is not a recent development, there has been a little or no effort aimed at scientifically documenting the existing situation among aggregation communities in northern Nigeria as regards the various indigenous innovative technologies and adaptation measures to combat the negative effect of climate change.
The vicious circle of poverty among these farmers has led to the unimpressive performance of agricultural sector in general. As a result of rapid population growth, there is an increasing pressure on naturally endowed forest resources, while traditional fallow periods are diminishing at a faster rate which makes the country particularly vulnerable to the adverse impact of climate change on crop and livestock production.
Without giant saying, climate change is a serious challenge facing the entire world today. Its impact is felt in all facets of life.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study is to investigate the impact of climate change on farming activities, while the specific objectives are;
• To examine the rainfall and temperature change in the study areas.
• Examine the level of climate change awareness in the area To identify change in crop production of farmers over time.
• To determine the impact of climate change on farming activities.
1.4 Justification of the Study
It is important to note that impacts of climate change on farming activities are global and local. Climate change will affect agricultural food system in all countries, including exporters and importers as well as those at subsistence level
(FAO, 2008). Change in mean rainfall and temperature as well as the increase in extreme events will affect agriculture and livestock (IPCC, 007). These farmers are poor not because of their small size operation but, not because of improper operation, but because of their farming system is characterized by low and declining productivity due to so many factors of climate change. It is therefore, pertinent to investigate the impact of such change on farmers’ productivity, so as to make policy recommendations and planning for mitigation and adaptation
There is an urgent need for advocacy on climate change in order to enlighten people on the dynamic of climate change; this cannot be done effectively without any evidence. Research on climate change would therefore promote evidence based advocacy.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The study was covered the impact of climate change on farming activities in Dandume Local Government Area of Kastina State.