95.1 Effects of climate change on agricultural practice and quality of life of rural older farmers in Nigeria

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 10:45 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Olanrewaju Emmanuel AJIBOYE , Sociology, Lagos State University, , Lagos, Nigeria
Over the last five decades, Africa in general and Nigeria in particular has witnessed drastic decline in agricultural productivity and more than 200 million Africans suffer from malnutrition as a direct result of the declines. One third of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is malnourished, particularly the vulnerable groups (older persons, women and children) most affected. The “oil boom” with its sudden and unexpected wealth in Nigeria in the mid 70s seriously undermined the status of agricultural production and regrettably, succeeded in creating utter neglect for and relegation of agriculture to the background. Thus, by 1976 the declining rate of agriculture which was about 7.8% between 1970 and 1974 had reached an intolerable level. The decline in agricultural productivity, which led to hunger, poverty and malnutrition, is also attributed to several other interrelated and complex factors of climate change which include increasing deforestation and land degradation. The deforestation and land degradation is associated with severe droughts and desertification, escalating soil erosion, Stalinization, soil compaction and poor soil fertility which are all bye products of global warming and climatic change. Unfortunately, older farmers have limited access to financial and technological inputs necessary for sustained agricultural production. The livelihood of the older people is routinely being afflicted with the increasing poverty problems in the continent. This paper examines the effects of the phenomenon of global warming on agriculrural practices, its effects on the food production and the quality of life of the older rural farmers in Nigeria. It adopts critical theory to extrapolate the issues. It also relies on both primary and secondary data as its methodology. The paper concludes that Nigeria government needs to ensure the development of an effective policy framework that includes bio-safety and biotechnology development that can guarantee food security in the continent.