This paper aims at understanding how smallholder farmers are adapting to drought and what shapes their vulnerabilities and ability to adapt. Considering that their capacity to adapt to climate change has been undermined not only by the natural vulnerabilities due to their geographic location but also by the social context, gender and institution that interact to influence and determine household and individual vulnerability and responses to drought.
Both primary and secondary data were used. Primary data were collected by use of structured questionnaires from 128 male-headed households and 122 female-headed households in eight villages in the Nguru Local Government Area, as well as from key informant interviews and focus group discussions.
Climate change is not a concept recognized by most farmers and does not have standard translation in the local language; farmers believe the term refers to change in weather. Drought and crop failure are causing despair and frustration, and farmers reported that they are struggling to adapt. The resources and support inputs required for responding to climate change and variability are socially differentiated by gender, women’s and men’s responses to drought impacts as well as their access to adaptation resources and support differ significantly. Women are in particular unable to access the favored adaptation strategies promoted by Yobe State Agricultural Development Programme as a government support institution assigned with the responsibility of helping farm households adapt to climate change in ways that will increase their adaptive capacity.
These findings are essential for informing policy decisions by ensuring that the experiences of both women and men and the context in which they operate are embedded into policy design.
The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the farmers in Bilelam and Musari districts of Nguru LGA, Nigeria, who participated in the household survey and focus group discussions. They also thank the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the West African Research Center (WARC) and the International Federation of University Women (IFUW) for providing the financial resources in conducting the research.
Othniel Yila, J. and P. Resurreccion, B. (2014), "Gender perspectives on agricultural adaptation to climate change in drought-prone Nguru Local Government Area in the semiarid zone of northeastern Nigeria", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 250-271. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCCSM-12-2012-0068Download as .RIS
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