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1.1 Background to the Study

Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperature patterns and weather conditions on Earth, primarily attributed to human activities that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. According to Johnson and Brown (2020) the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, industrial processes, and agricultural practices have significantly increased the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, resulting in the enhanced greenhouse effect and subsequent global warming. The consequences of climate change are far-reaching and multifaceted, encompassing rising temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, sea-level rise, melting ice caps and glaciers, extreme weather events, and ecological disruptions. To World Bank (2012) these changes pose substantial risks to human societies, ecosystems, and the planet’s overall stability. Climate change impacts are observed through disruptions in agriculture, water resources, public health, biodiversity loss, and increased vulnerability of marginalized communities.

Agriculture is a multidimensional and essential human activity encompassing the cultivation of crops, raising livestock, and the production of food, fiber, and other agricultural products. It is a fundamental pillar of human civilization, providing sustenance, livelihoods, and economic development. According Garcia, Hernandez and Martinez (2018) agricultural practices involve a range of activities, including land preparation, planting, irrigation, fertilization, pest control, harvesting, storage, and distribution. It encompasses diverse farming systems, such as subsistence farming, small-scale farming, commercial agriculture, and industrialized agriculture. Agriculture plays a crucial role in ensuring food security and nutrition by producing an abundance of food to meet the needs of a growing global population. It also serves as a source of income and employment for billions of people worldwide, particularly in rural areas. Furthermore, agriculture contributes to economic growth, trade, and rural development, serving as a backbone for many economies. However, agricultural practices can have environmental impacts, such as deforestation, soil degradation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable agricultural practices aim to minimize these negative impacts by promoting resource conservation, biodiversity preservation, integrated pest management, and organic farming methods. Moreover, the application of technology, innovation, and precision agriculture techniques can enhance productivity, efficiency, and resilience in agricultural systems.

            Global effects of climate change are already being observed and are expected to intensify in the future. These effects have far-reaching consequences for the environment, ecosystems, and human societies. One of the most significant global effects is the loss of sea ice, particularly in the Arctic region. The melting of ice sheets and glaciers contributes to rising sea levels, which pose a threat to coastal communities and low-lying areas. For example, the melting of the Greenland ice sheet has already contributed to sea-level rise (Thompson, 2021). Climate change also leads to more intense heatwaves, which can have detrimental impacts on human health, agriculture, and ecosystems. Additionally, changes in precipitation patterns result in more frequent and severe droughts in some regions, such as California in the United States. According to Ogbonna, Mohammed and Abubakar (2017), droughts can lead to water scarcity, crop failures, and increased risk of wildfires. The increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including hurricanes and storms, are also attributed to climate change. For instance, the increased intensity of hurricanes like Hurricane Harvey in 2017, which caused widespread flooding in Texas, can be linked to climate change.

            The effects of climate change in developed countries are significant and pose various challenges to their economies, ecosystems, and populations. Here, we will discuss some of the key impacts observed in developed countries, along with real examples. Developed countries are experiencing increased temperatures and more frequent heatwaves due to climate change. For instance, the United States and European Union have witnessed heatwaves that have had negative impacts on human health and economic productivity (Salisu, Sani & Okechukwu, 2021). Heatwaves can lead to heat-related illnesses, reduced labor productivity, increased energy demands for cooling, and strain on infrastructure. Climate change is altering precipitation patterns in developed countries, leading to more intense rainfall events or prolonged droughts. These changes can have significant consequences. For example, in Australia, prolonged droughts have affected agricultural productivity, water availability, and biodiversity (Lee, Park & Kim, 2019).

On the other hand, increased rainfall intensity can result in flooding, damaging infrastructure, and causing economic losses. Developed countries with coastal regions are vulnerable to sea-level rise, which is primarily caused by the melting of ice sheets and thermal expansion of seawater. Coastal erosion and inundation pose risks to infrastructure, property, and human settlements. For instance, the Netherlands, a low-lying country, has implemented extensive coastal protection measures to mitigate the impacts of rising sea levels. Climate change is contributing to more frequent and intense extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, storms, and wildfires. Developed countries have experienced the devastating impacts of these events. For example, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 caused extensive damage to New Orleans, resulting in loss of life, displacement of populations, and significant economic costs. Similarly, wildfires in California have become more severe, leading to destruction of homes, infrastructure, and natural habitats. Climate change affects ecosystems and biodiversity in developed countries. Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns can disrupt ecosystems, alter species distributions, and threaten biodiversity. For instance, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has experienced coral bleaching events due to rising ocean temperatures, leading to the loss of coral reefs and marine biodiversity.

            The effects of climate change in developing countries are significant and pose numerous challenges to their development and well-being. Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to their limited resources, weak infrastructure, and high dependence on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture and fisheries. Unchecked climate change could force more than 200 million people to migrate within their own countries by 2050, pushing up to 130 million people into poverty (Lee, Park & Kim, 2019). This displacement is primarily caused by the adverse effects of climate change, such as extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and water scarcity, which disrupt livelihoods and exacerbate poverty. Climate change leads to lower agricultural yields, affecting food security and livelihoods in developing countries. Rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and increased frequency of droughts and floods have a detrimental impact on crop production and livestock rearing. This, in turn, threatens food availability and increases the risk of malnutrition and hunger. Developing countries are more susceptible to the devastating impacts of natural disasters, which are becoming more frequent and severe due to climate change. These disasters, such as hurricanes, cyclones, and floods, can cause significant loss of life, damage infrastructure, and disrupt essential services, further impeding development efforts. Climate change affects water availability and quality, posing challenges for developing countries that already struggle with limited access to clean water and sanitation. In the opinion of Ogunleye, Adeyemi and Alabi (2019) droughts and changing precipitation patterns lead to water scarcity, affecting agriculture, hygiene, and public health. Additionally, rising sea levels can contaminate freshwater sources, exacerbating water-related challenges. Climate change contributes to the spread of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever, as changing temperatures and rainfall patterns create favorable conditions for disease vectors. Developing countries with limited healthcare infrastructure and resources are particularly vulnerable to these health risks, further burdening their already strained healthcare systems.

The effects of climate change on the Nigerian economy are significant and multifaceted, impacting various sectors and posing challenges to the country’s development and stability. Here, we will discuss the key effects of climate change on the Nigerian economy. Nigeria’s agricultural sector is highly vulnerable to climate change, with changing rainfall patterns, increased temperatures, and extreme weather events affecting crop yields and livestock production. Droughts and floods can lead to crop failures, reduced agricultural productivity, and increased food insecurity (Salisu, Sani & Okechukwu, 2021). For instance, reduced rainfall and rising temperatures can negatively impact staple crops like maize, rice, and sorghum, which are crucial for food security and livelihoods.  Climate change can disrupt Nigeria’s energy sector, particularly hydropower generation. Droughts and reduced rainfall can lead to lower water levels in reservoirs, reducing the capacity for hydropower generation and causing power shortages (Garcia, Hernandez & Martinez, 2018). This can have adverse effects on industries, businesses, and households, impacting productivity and economic growth. Rising sea levels and increased coastal erosion pose significant threats to Nigeria’s infrastructure, particularly in coastal areas. Coastal erosion can damage roads, buildings, and other critical infrastructure, leading to costly repairs and disruptions to economic activities (Johnson & Brown, 2020). For example, the coastal city of Lagos is experiencing significant erosion, which threatens its infrastructure and economic stability. Climate change impacts water availability and quality, affecting Nigeria’s water resources and access. Changing rainfall patterns and increased evaporation rates can lead to water scarcity, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. This can have severe consequences for agriculture, industry, and domestic water supply, impacting productivity and livelihoods. Climate change can also have adverse effects on public health in Nigeria. Increased temperatures and changing rainfall patterns can contribute to the spread of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever. These diseases pose significant health risks and can strain healthcare systems, impacting productivity and economic development.

The effect of climate change on agriculture is a significant concern as it poses various challenges to crop production, livestock farming, and fisheries. Changes in temperature, precipitation patterns, and CO2 levels can have both positive and negative impacts on agricultural systems. Increased temperatures can benefit some crops in certain regions, allowing farmers to shift to crops grown in warmer areas. However, if temperatures exceed a crop’s optimal level, yields can decline. According to Salisu, Sani and Okechukwu (2021) elevated CO2 levels can potentially increase plant growth, but other factors such as changing temperatures, ozone, and water and nutrient constraints may counteract these potential increases in yield. Elevated CO2 has also been associated with reduced protein and nitrogen content in plants, resulting in a loss of quality. Extreme temperature and precipitation events, such as floods and droughts, can harm crops and reduce yields. High nighttime temperatures and warm winters have already affected corn yields and cherry production, causing significant economic losses. Weeds, pests, and fungi thrive under warmer temperatures, wetter climates, and increased CO2 levels. To Johnson and Brown (2020) this can lead to increased competition with crops, requiring more resources and efforts to control them. Rising CO2 levels reduce the nutritional value of most food crops, including wheat, soybeans, and rice, which poses a potential threat to human health. Increased pesticide use due to pest pressures can also impact human health and the efficacy of pesticides. Heat waves, projected to increase under climate change, can directly threaten livestock by increasing vulnerability to disease, reducing fertility, and decreasing milk production. Heat stress can have long-term effects on animal health. According to United Nations. (2015) droughts reduce the availability of quality forage for grazing livestock, and changes in crop production due to drought can also impact animals that rely on grain. Climate change may increase the prevalence of parasites and diseases that affect livestock. Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns can create favorable conditions for these pathogens to thrive. Increases in atmospheric CO2 can increase pasture productivity, but the quality of forage decreases. This means that livestock would need to consume more to obtain the same nutritional benefits. According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). (2019) changes in temperature can lead to shifts in the ranges of fish and shellfish species. Some economically important species have already moved northward due to warming waters, potentially disrupting ecosystems and affecting fishing industries. Climate change can contribute to the spread of marine diseases, such as oyster parasites and salmon diseases, which can have significant impacts on fish and shellfish populations (Johnson & Brown, 2020). Acidification of the oceans due to increased CO2 levels can weaken the shells of shellfish and threaten sensitive ecosystems that support fish and shellfish.

  • Statement of the Problem

The ideal situation for Nigeria’s agricultural sector is annual GDP growth of at least 5.5% to meet rising food demands of a growing population. However, according to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). (2019) in 2019 climate change had already increased average temperatures in Nigeria by 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels, with a 18% increase in frequency of hot days and nights. At the same time, Intergovernmental Science output was decreasing by an estimated 1.5% each year from 2015-2019 due to declining crop yields and livestock productivity as a result of increasingly extreme weather events such as flooding and droughts. Prior research estimated that climate change could reduce rice production in Nigeria by 30% and wheat/maize by up to 60% by 2050 without intervention or carbon mitigation efforts. To remedy this issue,  the Nigerian government has made climate-smart agriculture a priority in 12.4% of its national budget from 2020-2022 to promote climate-resilient seed varieties, irrigation expansion, renewable energy projects and farming techniques. However, only few studies to date have quantified the actual impacts of climate change on agricultural output in Nigeria. Therefore, the present study seeks to fill the gap  by investigating the impact of climate change on agricultural output in Nigeria.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

            The main objective of this study is to examine the effects of climate change on agricultural sector in Nigeria. The specific objective of the study are to:

  1. Determine the extent to which climate change affect agricultural output in Nigeria.
  2. Find out whether interest rate, inflation, unemployment influence agricultural output in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

            The study was guided the following research questions:

  1. To what extent climate change affect agricultural output in Nigeria?
  2. Do interest rate, inflation, unemployment influence agricultural output in Nigeria?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study on the effects of climate change on the agricultural sector in Nigeria can have several beneficiaries.

Farmers: Farmers in the Nigeria would benefit from this study as it would provide them with valuable insights into the specific impacts of climate change on their agricultural practices. They would gain a better understanding of the changing climatic conditions, such as temperature, rainfall, and extreme weather events, and how these changes can affect their crop yields, livestock production, and overall farm productivity. Armed with this knowledge, farmers can make informed decisions about suitable crop varieties, irrigation practices, and other adaptive measures to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and protect their livelihoods.

Government: Government in Nigeria would benefit from this study by gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by the agricultural sector in their region due to climate change. The findings of the study can inform the development of appropriate policies, programs, and interventions to support the farmers and mitigate the impacts of climate change. For example, the local government can invest in infrastructure development, such as water management systems and irrigation facilities, to address water scarcity issues caused by changing precipitation patterns. They can also provide training and capacity-building programs to equip farmers with the necessary skills and knowledge to adapt to climate change effectively.

Researchers and Academics: The study can provide valuable data and insights for researchers and academics interested in the field of climate change and agriculture. It can contribute to the existing body of knowledge by providing specific case study findings related to the impacts of climate change in Nigeria. Researchers can use this information to further investigate the underlying causes, assess the effectiveness of adaptation strategies, and identify potential solutions to help farmers mitigate the impacts of climate change. The study can also serve as a reference for future research and comparative studies in similar regions or with similar climatic conditions.

Policy Makers and Development Agencies: The findings of this study can be crucial for policy makers and development agencies working in the agricultural and environmental sectors. The study can provide evidence-based information on the specific vulnerabilities and challenges faced by the agricultural sector in Nigeria due to climate change. This knowledge can inform the formulation of policies, strategies, and investment plans to support climate-resilient agriculture in the area. It can also guide the allocation of resources and funding for adaptation and mitigation measures, ensuring that interventions are targeted and effective in addressing the unique challenges of the local agricultural sector.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study on the effects of climate change on the agricultural sector in Nigeria is focused on examining the relationship between climate change and agricultural output. Specifically, the study aims to determine the extent to which climate change affects agricultural output in Nigeria. Additionally, the study seeks to investigate whether factors such as interest rates, inflation, and unemployment have an influence on agricultural output in the country. By addressing these objectives, the study aims to provide insights into the impacts of climate change and other economic factors on the agricultural sector in Nigeria, thereby contributing to a better understanding of the challenges and potential solutions for sustainable agricultural development in the face of climate change and economic factors.

1.7 Organisation of the Study

Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the study on the effects of climate change on the agricultural sector in Nigeria. It starts with a background discussion on climate change and its impacts on agriculture, including the specific effects on livestock, crop production, and fisheries. The statement of the problem highlights the challenges faced by the agricultural sector in Nigeria due to climate change, such as declining crop yields and livestock productivity. The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of climate change on agricultural output in Nigeria, while the research questions focus on the extent of climate change effects and the influence of economic factors on agricultural output. The significance of the study is discussed, emphasizing the benefits to farmers, government, researchers, and policy makers. Finally, the scope of the study is outlined, specifying the focus on the relationship between climate change and agricultural output, as well as the consideration of economic factors such as interest rates, inflation, and unemployment.

  • Format: ms-word (doc)
  • Chapter 1 to 5
  • With abstract reference and questionnaire
  • Preview Table of contents, abstract and chapter 1 below

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