BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Information and communication are important ingredients necessary for effective transfer of technologies that are fashioned to increase agricultural production. For maize farmers to benefit from such technologies, they must first have access to the technologies and learn how to effectively utilize such technologies in their farming systems and practices (Ani and Baba, 2009). This will be the duties of agricultural extension agents all over the universe. Agricultural extension agents use different approaches, ways and means in disseminating information concerning climate change and improved agricultural practices to the farmers which are the end users. Agricultural extension, which is a majorly message delivery system, has a vital role to play in development of agriculture. It serves as a source of advice and assistance for farmers to help them respond proactively to climate change and improving their production and marketing (Adams, 2010). The duty of extension education is fulfilled by various extension approaches and methods, which may come under individual, group and mass contacts. The mass contact may which include both the electronic and print media, is potentially expected to play an important role in technology transfer. The media has a vital role in enhancing and facilitating the awareness of maize farmers to a variety of information. According to Ladebo et al. (2010), 72.5% of the respondents has radio sets but the functionality of such radio sets could not be assured. According to Stanley (2009), information is one of the primary needs of man after air, water, food, and shelter and the developments in society depend largely on the availability and access to accurate and reliable information. Expectedly, the information generated from different sources such as metrological stations should reach the intended users and ultimately meet their needs. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, 2012) reported that in many developing countries, adoption of research results by majority of farmers remains quite limited. This therefore, calls for a system which allows adequate information flow from researchers to farmers and vice-versa. Hence, various means of information dissemination including extension services have centralized role in facilitating the flow of a different of information to grant the needed exposure of farmer to climate change and innovation for overall development. Maize farming is a high-profitable opportunity for Nigeria and its inhabitants, majorly those who are ready to learn how to turn a business initiative as such to wealth. Maize is surely the most common food crop in Nigeria, and still the most important as it is eaten in various dishes and forms the basis for most of the meals prepared by the average Nigerian family. As we all know, corn is a crop cheaper than rice and wheat, two of the other most consumed cereals, and this affordability makes maize hugely popular. The smart agribusiness investor tends to make maximum amount of money through commercial maize farming. Climate is the long term average weather conditions of a region while weather refers to the daily fluctuating state of the atmosphere [Onwualu 2012]. Elements of weather are temperature, rainfall, moisture, humidity, mist, sunshine, clouds and haze. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2012) defines climate change as statistically significant variations in climate condition that persists for an extended period, typically for decades or longer. It is any change in climate, rainfall or productivity caused by natural variability and direct or indirect human activities that alter the composition of the atmosphere [IPCC 2012, IPCC 2014]. Climate change is due to global warming which is brought about by green house effect (increase in greenhouse gases – these are notably carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), Ozone (O3), hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), per fluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and water vapour (H2O)); variations in earth’s orbital characteristics (example: solar output, earth-sun geometry and interstellar dust); and volcanic eruptions – which invariably release large amounts of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere [Ibe NS, 2012]. Other contributory factors to global warming include some human activities like deforestation, desertification, pollution, degradation, erosion, and emission of greenhouse gases, bush burning, oil spills, gas flaring, waste disposal and population growth [Adejo PE, 2010]. Climate change assumes the pivot stage in development research because of its vast adverse effects on mankind and the environment which are more catastrophic on agriculture and hence food security [Ozor 2012]. Its effects range from prolonged period of dryness events to flooding events, sea level rise, drying of rivers, reduction in water quality, dissolving of glaciers, loss of biodiversity, changes in pattern of rainfall and volume, increases in temperature, more frequent and severe pest and diseases incidences among others. These negative effects have undesirable impacts on the economy, food availability, agricultural production, health, and social statuses (conflicts and migration) of many countries majorly the developing countries. Perception is the process by which information or stimuli are received from the environment and transformed into psychological awareness [Van den Ban 2011]. Farauta, et al.;  found that farmers’ acquire information of climate change include: unusual early rains that are followed by weeks of dryness, higher temperature, loss of soil fertility, low farm yields, increased rate of disease outbreaks, delay in commencement of rain, low rainfall, erratic rainfall pattern, prolonged dry season, no or reduced harmattan, long period of harmattan and heavy and long period of rainfall. The extreme weather events which support farmers’ understanding of climate change are: desertification, heavy rainfall (which could lead to flooding), increase in atmospheric temperature and drought. These supported the findings of Hir .
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Although farmers are aware of climate change, they do not seem to know the cause(s). Their knowledge of climate change is mainly based on personal experience over time and information from social organizations. Elements of climate which they perceived to have changed significantly include rainfall pattern, sunlight and temperature. They seem to have perceived climate change to a fairly large extent. Perceived adverse effects of climate change include increased rainfall intensity, flooding, erosion, excessive heat and poor crop. However, it has been that local people are aware of the changing climate and they devise their own adaptation measures based on their cultural practice and past experiences in dealing with environmental changes and natural disasters. These local knowledge and experience are used as a basis of decision making for food security, human and animal health, and resource management. Hence, this study aims to assess climate change information sources in among maize farmers in Edo State, Nigeria.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the climate change information sources among maize farmers in Edo state, other specific objectives of the study include;
- To examine the level of awareness of climate change among maize farmers in Edo state.
- To identify the sources of information on climate change among maize farmers in Edo state.
- To examine the effect of climate change information sources on productivity of maize farmers in Edo state.
- To assess the manifestations of climate change in Edo state.
- To examine the relationship between climate change information sources and productivity of maize farmers in Edo state.
- To examine factors that contributes to climate change and suggest ways of reducing its effect on agriculture
H0: There is no significant effect of climate change information sources on productivity of maize farmers in Edo state
H1: There is a significant effect of climate change information sources on productivity of maize farmers in Edo state
H0: There is no significant relationship between climate change information sources and productivity of maize farmers in Edo state
H1: There is a significant relationship between climate change information sources and productivity of maize farmers in Edo state
- To examine the level of awareness of climate change among maize farmers in Edo state?
- To identify the sources of information on climate change among maize farmers in Edo state?
- To examine the effect of climate change information sources on productivity of maize farmers in Edo state?
- To assess the manifestations of climate change in Edo state?
- To examine the relationship between climate change information sources and productivity of maize farmers in Edo state?
- To examine factors that contributes to climate change and suggest ways of reducing its effect on agriculture?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research is important as it may provide adequate information on Climate change and its numerous adverse effects on humankind and the environment which are more devastating on Nigerian agriculture and hence food security. The study would also be of immense benefit to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to climate change information sources among maize farmers in Edo state.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Climate: the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period
Climate change: Is a periodic modification of Earth’s climate brought about as a result of changes in the atmosphere as well as interactions between the atmosphere and various other geologic, chemical, biological, and geographic factors within the Earth system.
Information: Is the attribute inherent in and communicated by one of two or more alternative sequences or arrangements of something (such as nucleotides in DNA or binary digits in a computer program) that produce specific effects.
Information source: Is a person, thing, or place from which information comes, arises, or is obtained. Information sources can be known as primary or secondary. That source might then inform a person about something or provide knowledge about it. Information sources are divided into separate distinct categories, primary, secondary, tertiary and so on.
A Farmer: is an individual whose primary job function involves livestock and/or agriculture. A farmer takes all the necessary steps to ensure proper nourishment of the items that he/she raises and then sells the items to purchasers. Some farmers have been able to capitalize on the need for high-demand products that they produce, such as organic vegetables and livestock.
Onwualu AP, Ogunwusi AA; Climate change and food security in Nigeria. Agricultural extension strategies for climate change adaptation. Conference proceedings of the 17th annual national conference of the Agricultural Extension Society of Nigeria (AESON), 2012.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Impact, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of working group II of the IPCC to the third assessment report of the IPCC. Cambridge University Press. London. 2012.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Tide guage measurements and satellite imagery suggest that sea level has risen. Recent climate change – sea level changes, climate, science. The fourth assessment report of the IPCC. Cambridge university press. London. 2012.
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