AN ECONOMIC STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON FOOD SECURITY IN TARABA STATE, NIGERIA

AN ECONOMIC STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON FOOD SECURITY IN TARABA STATE, NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

The study examined the climate change (climate change extreme events and household climate change adaptation practice) effects on the food security status of the households in Taraba State Nigeria. The primary data used in this work was collected using a random sampling selection of three (3) agricultural zones, 5 local government areas, 10 communities, and 120 respondents from the sample frame. The 3 agricultural zones selected were zing, Bali, and Wukari. Five (5) local government areas were proportionately selected from the 3 zones viz: Jalingo, Lau, Wukari, Kurumi and Bali. Data was collected using an interview schedule. Information were collected on the household socio economic characteristics, the climate change extreme event happenings in the area, the household adaptation practices of the area, food security, and food insecurity coping strategies of the households. The analytical tools employed in analyzing the data were descriptive and inferential statistics, simple and multiple correlation, multiple regression, Rasch model, percentages, mean, graphs, likert scale rating. Results showed that households in Taraba were faced with the problems of climate extreme events, and the households are making conscious efforts to adapt to the shocks of this events, mostly by using ecological adaptation and storage. The Rasch model analysis showed that majority of the households (77.85%) were food insecure with severe hunger, 20.4% were food insecure with moderate hunger, and only 1.9% were food insecure without hunger but no household was found to be food secure in the study area. The regression results showed that food insecurity increases with increase in the household experience of the extreme events. Events like heat wave, harmattan, pests and diseases, and drying up of streams and rivers were considered by the households as having serious impact on food security and this was confirmed by the regression result which showed that these events significantly affected food security of the households. The study also found out that the more adaptation strategies practiced by the households the more food secure they were. Market exchange and diversification classes of adaptation had an inverse relationship with food insecurity. Majority of the households (87%) relied on less preferred and less expensive foods as their food insecurity coping strategies. Only 17.6% employed sending household members to beg. The socio economic factor that had negative effect on the household food security were, having children in the home, household size, and having a civil servant as the head of the household. Rate of adaptation practices of the household and income had a positive effect on the food security of the household. Good weather forecast system was recommended and that government should make effort to enlighten their citizens on the dangers of these extreme event and proffer ways of improving the environment. People should be encouraged to embrace market exchange and diversification as a means of adapting to climate change as this will increase their resilience and reduce their vulnerability.


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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background Information

Over one billion people experience the hardship that hunger imposes, a figure which continues to rise even amidst the riches of the 21st century. Entrenched within a vortex of population growth, economic instability and climate change, food security has become an urgent challenge for national and global governance (Oxfam, 2010).

Food security is a situation wherein all people at all times have, economical and physical access to safe, sufficient quantity and quality, nutritious food (Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), 2008) and alsothe ability to utilse the food. “The inability to acquire or consume an adequate quality or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways, or the uncertainty that one will be able to do so by all households” is the definition given to food insecurity by the US (Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA) (FANTA, 2011). From the above definitions and with the aid of the U.S. food security scale, households are placed into four basic categories according to their responses to the questions on the Food Security Module: food secure, food insecure without hunger, food insecure with moderate hunger, and food insecure with severe hunger.

Agriculture contributes to national food security by helping to maintain a healthy and peaceful population. It has also been a source of food and nutrition for households.


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Agriculture is critical to the West Africa sub region economy (Agwu, Amadu, Morlai, Wollor, and Cegbe, 2011). The world average contribution of the agriculture sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is only 4.5%, but the sector's contribution is about 30% in West Africa. In this region also above 65% of the population lives in the rural area, and about 90% of the rural population directly depends on rainfed agriculture for income and food security. Therefore reduced rainfall as predicted by various climate models translates to threat to livelihood of the population and the economy of the sub-region (Agwu, et al., 2011).

Agricultural productivity and food security is affected by a number of factors including: amount and quality of inputs, human ability or expertise in implementing technology (human capital), price of crops, the time elapsed after the establishment of the farm, environmental factors (climate) and agricultural policies (Adeniyi, Ogunsola, Nymphas, and Oladiran, 2009). When all these factors are favourable, bountiful crop and animal productivity is assured. Good control of all these factors except the climate, and the thorough understanding of it can take the nation to food security level (David and Tim, 2000). According to Adeniyi et al. (2009), the ways of controlling the variables (technological input, capital, government policies) include improvement on the quality and amount of technological input in the form of major agricultural research efforts, and robust governance and capital by providing fund for research, training, educating farmers, and increasing farmers access to credit.

Climate change is a statistically significant variations in climate that persist for an extended period, typically decades or longer (International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2001). According to the IPCC (1990, 1992), it seems clear that any significant change in climate on a global scale impacts local agriculture, and therefore affect the world's food supply. It is important to note, however, that the development of agriculture


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is necessary to ensure that more food is produced and made available to non-producers at reasonable prices (Adeniyi et al., 2009).

The socio-economic impacts of climate change result in decline in yield, reduced marginal GDP from agriculture, fluctuation in world market price, changes in geographical distribution of trade regime, increased number of people at risk of hunger and food insecurity, migration and civil unrest (Enete and Amusa 2011; khanal, 2009). There are over 140 million people in Nigeria, with about 38 million being farmers on 71.2 million hectares cultivable land (Adeniyi et al., 2009). The present agricultural growth rate of Nigeria as reported by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is 4.5% which is below the rate (at least 10%) that could be sufficient for the population changing roles and responsibilities of key actors (Adeniyi et al. 2009). So looking at the above statistics, with no consideration to climate and seasonality, it should not be a difficult task for Nigeria to ensure access by all the people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. According to FAO report (2010), food security is a fundamental agricultural objective in Nigeria; - households should have access to good and nutritious food for healthy living and, population should be healthy to create national wealth.

According to Adeniyi, et al. (2009), food production in sub-Saharan Africa is climate dependent; therefore in Nigeria crops are planted according to the seasons of the year, when enough moisture is available to sustain plant growth and maximum yield. In 2009 Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) observed that there were crop faliure in few areas, and in a few other areas of Nigeria yields were poor compared to expected results, this they said was as a result of erratic rainfall that characterized the agricultural season. In sub Sahara Africa rainfall is the main source of water for crops and pasture therefore, there is a direct and almost linear relationship between actual water


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consumption and plant production (Adeniyi et al. 2009; Agwu et al. 2011; FEWS NET, 2008).

According to Pinstrup-Andersen (2003), the world food problem now and in the foreseeable future is not one of global shortage. Instead, the world is faced with three main food-related challenges: widespread hunger and malnutrition, mismanagement of natural resources in food production, and obesity. The other challenge is to assure that everyone has access to sufficient food to live a healthy and productive life. Elimination of food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition, in a manner consistent with an ecologically sustainable management of natural resources, is of critical importance. Food security should be achieved in an environmental sustainable manner, because there seems to be a nexus between poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation (Swilling and Annecke, 2012)

Although there has been progress in the last twenty years, the future of food security is not bright. At the World Food Summit in 1996, policy makers from more than 180 countries agreed to the goal of reducing the number of food-insecure people by half, to 400 million, between 1990 and 2015. At the follow-up Summit in 2002, the same goal was reaffirmed. Unfortunately, action does not seem to equal the agreement (FAO, 2010). In the 1990s, less than one third of the countries managed to reduce the number of food-insecure people, while one half is still experiencing an increase, (Adeniyi et al. 2009).

Climate change has been known to effect food security in diverse ways by affecting the food security indices i.e availability, accessibility, stability and utilization. Climate change affects food availability through its effects on agriculture and food production in complex ways, and also on the other determinants of food availability – distribution, and


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exchange (Erickon, 2006). The effect of climate change on access to food operates through physical, social and economic factors. After production the food need to be moved from the point of production to the point of consumption, the transport system and other infrastructures needed to access food are affected by climate change. Climate change has been seen to affect food utilization through its effect on the factors that help in benefiting from nutritious food. These factors include safe drinking water, health care and environmental hygiene. In addition, stability of crop yields and food supplies is negatively affected by changing weather conditions, so as agricultural production declines, food prices rise, and purchasing power decreases affecting the stability of the other food security variables (FAO, 2010; Erickson, 2006).

Decline in water availability has continually force households to adapt their lives and livelihoods to the change (Adeniyi et al. 2009). Adaptation to climate change involves deliberate adjustments in natural or human systems and behaviours to reduce the risks to people’s lives and livelihoods (Enete and Amusa, 2011). Producers who possess adequate levels of capital and technology should be capable of adapting to climate change. Changes in types of crops and animals that are grown may be required for adaptation, and the cost of this adaptation will be seen in the increase in price of the farm output. The extent of food insecurity in the face of climate change critically depends on the responses of farmers, consumers, policy makers and traders. These responses could be gauged in terms of the adaptation and adoption capacities of farmers and on the adaptation responses (behaviour) of the policy makers, traders, and consumers.

Taraba state has been seen to be vulnerable to climate change impacts, (Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF), 2005), and the limited risk absorption capacity of poor people means that they are unlikely to be able to cope well with the added risk imposed by climate change (Blewitt, 2008). According to IPCC study, the impacts of climate change


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on incomes of these vulnerable groups after adaptation would tend to be negative and in the range of 0 to –10 percent (IPCC, 2002). This is due to the fact that the poor is forced to spend much of their little income on food (worldwatch, 2010). So food insecurity will persist in places where industrial agriculture, long-distance marketing chains and diversified non-agricultural livelihood opportunities are not economically significant (britannica.com). This situation is typical of Taraba State where the main economic activity revolves around agriculture. There have been incidences of flood in Taraba state. Notably, was the eight hours heavy rain on 7 August 2005, that over flooded the state, which led to the collapse of the Jalingo bridge, displacing 50,000 people from their homes and killing over 100 people (DREF, 2005), this was said to be unprecedented in the last 40 years. This evidences indicate that more frequent and more intense extreme weather events, has impacts on not only food production, but also food distribution infrastructures, incidence of food emergencies, livelihood assets, farming system, and food price in Taraba State.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

According to Anthony (2009), Africa remains one of the most vulnerable continents to climate variability and low adaptive capacity. This is because of the continent’s over dependence on natural resources. Climate change effects on on a nation’s food security, invariabily affects the nation’s development (Swilling and Annecke 2012; Agwu et al., 2011). In view of FAO (2008) and von Braun (2008), climate change effects on food security is region dependent and most severe on the poor. Impacts such as rising temperatures and increased frequency of extreme weather events put severe pressure on food security which involves availability, stability, access, and utilization of food (von Braun, 2008). In Nigeria, too heavy or scanty rainy season would negatively affect harvest (Kamoru and Oludare, 2007), thereby affecting the the price and quantity of food


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available in the market and to the consumers. The negative effects of climate change will be seriously felt in the north east areas of Nigeria, where Taraba is located, that are characterised with erratic weather (FEWS NET, 2008).

The climate situation and food production system of Taraba state, a tropical region, where agricultural production is both a major source of food and income, has been noted to be seriously affected by the changing climate (DREF, 2005; von Braun, 2008), and there are many food insecure households in this State (DREF, 2005). Considering the unique climate condition of Taraba, that is quite different from areas where studies on climate change has already been done, we need empirical facts for understanding and combating the effects of climate change on food security in the State.

There have been many research works on climate change, recent ones had focused on regional and national assessments of the potential effects of climate change on agriculture. These efforts have, for the most part, treated each region or nation in isolation, without relation to changes in production in other places, because there is no “one fits all” solution at local level. At the same time, there has been a growing emphasis on understanding the interactions of climatic, environmental, and social factors in a wider context (Parry, 1990), leading to more integrated assessments of potential impacts in national impact studies completed in the United State (Smith and Tirpak, 1989), Canada (Smit, 1989), Brazil (Magalhaes (1992) and Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand (Parry, de Rozari, Chong, and Panich, 1992). Regional studies have been conducted in high latitude and semi-arid agricultural areas (Parry et al., 1988), and the US Midwest (Rosenberg and Crosson, 1991). von Braun (2008), climate study focused on the combine effect of mean climate change and energy on food security. Rosenzweig, Parry, Fischer and Frohberg (1993), studied climate change effects on the world food supply. IPCC (2002), assessed the consequences of climate change for food and forest resources. Another relevant study


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dwelt on Supporting integrated and comprehensive approaches to climate change adaptation in Africa (Agumbah, 2010). Pinstrup-Andersen (2003), discussed how government policies can reduce food insecurity caused by rural poverty and fluctuations in weather patterns and markets to which the rural poor are exposed.

There is yet a dearth of information on Nigeria regional climate variability and extreme events; and it consequences on food security situation of the northern zones of the country that are located within the Sahel belt and are therefore prone to bouts of drought and desertification. Literature and ideas on how the negative effects of climate change for developing countries and food insecure people could be mitigated or adapted is still very limited (von Braun 2008 and Agumbah, 2010), whereas the extent of food insecurity in the face of climate change depends on it.

There have been many studies on food security situation in Nigeria including, Omotor, (2009), on an analysis of food security situation among Nigerian urban households, expenditure approach was used in assessing food security. Adeniyi, Ogunsola Nymphas and Oladiran (2009), reported on food security measures during uncertain climatic conditions in Nigeria. They looked at food security as a function of agricultural productivity and income. It is important to note, that some low income households are more food secure than some high income households (Opsomer, Jensen, and Pan, 2003). There is therefore a need for a more direct method of assessing food security in a country like Nigeria where most of its citizens are farmers, who do not necessarily buy most of their food. The ways households cope with food insecurity should also be investigated in other to have a clear picture of food insecurity.

It is important to note that even in terms of food availability, all current assessments of world food supply have focused only on the impacts of mean c


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