Scholarly Journal of Agricultural Science Vol. 7(2), pp. 34-43 March, 2017
Available online at http:// www.scholarly-journals.com/SJAS
ISSN 2276-7118 © 2017 Scholarly-Journals
Rural Farmers’ perceived level of need of Agro- Climatic information for managing climate change risks in Owerri Agricultural Zone of Imo State, Nigeria
Chikaire, J.U.*1, Anaeto, F.C.1, Orusha, J.O.2, Unam, D.N.2 and Nwoye, E.O.2
1Department of Agricultural Extension, School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.
2Department of Agricultural Science Education, School of Vocational and Technical Education, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Nigeria
The study examined rural farmers’ level of need of agro-climatic information for managing risks posed by climate change in Imo State, Nigeria. The specific objectives were to describe the socioeconomic characteristics of respondents; identify perceived risks occasioned by climate change variability in the study area; examine perceived level of need of agro-climatic information by respondents; ascertain agricultural risk management strategies used by farmers; and to determine factors militating against use of climate information by the respondents. Multi stage sampling technique was employed in selection of respondents. Data were collected through structured questionnaire and by personal interview. A list of all registered farmers in the 18 extension blocks was obtained from the ADP office in the zonal headquarters. The list has a total number of 2500 farmers and 10% was selected which gives a total sample size of 250 farmers. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistical tools such as percentages, presented in tabular forms. Majority, (45%) were in the age group of 51 years and above, 62.4% were males, 57.2% had a family size of 1-4 people, 33.6 percent of the respondents have secondary education, 45.7% had more than 31 years in farming experience. The risks caused by climate change were long period of drought with mean response of 3.34, excessive rainfall at harvest (M = 3.25), insufficient rainfall, insect infestation of produce (M = 3.06) among others. Farmers need information on temperature, forecasting and monitoring of floods information on causes of climate change, information on erosion and flood control. The respondents employed strategies such as crop diversification, proper financial planning, use of resistant varieties. The problems included poor communication skills, untrained climate information communicator, lack of communication facilities, poor access to timely information among others. It was recommended that government and concerned agencies educate farmers properly, train them and provide access to communication facilities.
Key words: Rural farmers, agro-climate, information, risk management, Nigeria..
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