Comparing climate adaptation strategies on technical efficiency of cassava production in Southwestern Nigeria


Rufus Owoeye
Ekiti State University
Nigeria

Abstract


Purpose. Cassava production is an already established crop enterprise in southwestern part of Nigeria and its economic importance, in terms of food consumption, source of livelihood for the unemployed and gross domestic product, cannot be overemphasized. Despite its adaptive features, its production is most hindered by erratic nature of climatic variables. This usually poses threats to its production in terms of pest and disease infestation, stunted growth and reduced yield. Cassava farmers have therefore adopted some climate adaptation practices like the use of improved (drought tolerant, disease resistant and early maturing) varieties of cassava. In order to assess the technical efficiency of climate adaptation practices on cassava production, the study assessed cassava productivity in two different agro-ecological zones in the study area to know where the climate adaptation practices adopted was more productive.

Methodology / approach. The study was carried out in the southwestern region of Nigeria. where two different agro-ecological zones (AEZ) (rain forest and savannah) were chosen for the study. The study used multi-stage sampling procedures, with the aid of well-structured questionnaire, to select 150 cassava producers from each AEZ, making a total of 300 cassava producers for the study. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics and stochastic frontier production function

Results. From the study, it was revealed that cassava farmers in the study area were relatively young, fairly educated, mostly married, well experienced, adequately aware of climate change, but operated on a small scale. Result on the influence of climate adaptation strategies on technical efficiency of cassava production in both rain forest and savannah AEZs in the study area revealed that technical inefficiency effects existed in cassava production as confirmed by the gamma values of 0.687 and 0.639 in rain forest and savannah respectively

Originality / scientific novelty. The study has really revealed diverse climate adaptation options available to cassava farmers in order to sustain its production as a means of employment to the unemployed, food consumption and contribution to the national gross domestic product. Studies comparing climate adaptation practices on technical efficiency of cassava production in different agro-ecological zones in southwestern part of Nigeria is relatively scarce considering the mixture of socio-economic and climate variables to assess technical efficiency of cassava production.

Practical value / implications. The study has succeeded in identifying key factors that will enables policy makers to formulate a sustained policy framework that would encourage the use of multiple climate adaptation practices by the cassava farmers. To ensure sustainability of cassava production, it is therefore recommended that farmers should be willing to embrace different adaptation strategies to climate change that would bring about increase in their scale of operation as most of the cassava farmers in the study areas cultivated less than 2 hectares of land for cassava production.

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