Between Climate Reliance and Climate Resilience: Empirical Analysis of Climate Variability and Impact on Nigerian Agricultural Production
The Nigerian agricultural production system is predominantly rain-fed. Over reliance of the agricultural production system on rainfall is an indication of vulnerability to climate change and variability of rainfall. On the other hand, climate resilience agriculture could ensure sustainable agricultural production and food security (including, availability, access, and stability) for Nigeria, being the most populous and largest economy in Africa. We therefore, investigated the impact of both rainfall variability and irrigation on agricultural production with a view to informing appropriate agricultural policy for adapting to climate change in Nigeria. Time series data spanning 43 years were used for the analyses on degree of variability and impact. The generalized methods of moment (GMM) econometric analytical technique was employed to quantify the impact of rainfall (in millilitres per annual) and irrigation (in proportion of arable land) on aggregate agricultural production index. We found evidence for the impact of irrigation as a tool for adapting to climate change, and for promoting climate-resilient agriculture in Nigeria. Irrigation had positive and significant impact on aggregate agricultural production. The findings suggest the need for the minimization of the impact of climate-induced agricultural production risks through climate- resilient agriculture which would involve expansion of arable land area under irrigation.
KeywordsAgricultural production Rainfall Irrigation Climate-resilient agriculture
This research is supported by funding from the Department for International Development (DFID) under the Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) programme. We are grateful to our respective institutions for providing conducive environment for research collaboration and training. The contributions of Professor Labode Popoola of the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Ibadan, Nigeria and Professor John Roy Porter of the Climate and Food Security Unit, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, are deeply appreciated. We are also thankful to anonymous reviewers for useful comments and suggestions.
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