“The Influence of Climate Variability on Cereal Crop Production in Nigeria’s North Central States”

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“The Influence of Climate Variability on Cereal Crop Production in Nigeria’s North Central States”

Abstract: Climate variability and its impacts, along with associated vulnerabilities, have emerged as a significant global concern. These factors pose a major obstacle to achieving food security and sustainable crop production worldwide. This study focused on assessing the effects of climate variability on cereal crop production in Nigeria’s North Central States.

The study had several specific objectives, including examining the trends and spatio-temporal variability of climatic variables such as rainfall, temperature, and relative humidity. Additionally, it aimed to investigate the trends in the yield of selected crops, namely Rice, Maize, and Guinea corn, and to explore the relationship between climatic variables and crop yield. The effect of daily extreme climatic indices on crop yield was also analyzed, along with identifying adaptation and mitigation strategies for coping with climate variability’s impact on crop yield.

To conduct the research, climatic and crop yield data were collected from various sources, including the Climate Prediction Center and Agricultural Development Projects. The study utilized statistical methods such as non-parametric tests, Mann-Kendall test, and Theil-Sen slope estimator (β) to analyze spatio-temporal trends in climatic variables and crop yield from 1989 to 2018. Moreover, Pearson Product Moment Correlation and Multiple Regression analysis were used to assess the association between climatic variables and crop yield.

The results revealed a declining trend in monthly rainfall distribution during May, with an increasing trend towards the cessation period in October. On an annual basis, most study locations experienced a downward trend in rainfall, with an exception in Lafia, where a significant upward trend was detected. Extreme climatic indices such as maximum 1-day rainfall (R1D) and maximum 5-day rainfall (R5D) exhibited insignificant correlations with the three crops across the study areas. The observed variation in rainfall ranged between 0.09 mm yr-1 and 6.06 mm yr-1 during the rainy season months (May to October).

Regarding the crop-climate relationship, rice yield showed a strong correlation at Abuja and Lafia (56% and 54% respectively) but a weak association at Minna, Lokoja, and Ilorin (23%, 27%, and 10% respectively). Maize exhibited a weak relationship in all study locations except Lafia, where it showed a strong correlation of 57%. On the other hand, Guinea corn yield responded weakly to climate variability across the study locations, with correlations of 37%, 40%, 27%, 24%, and 47% in Minna, Lokoja, Abuja, Ilorin, and Lafia stations, respectively. This finding suggests that Guinea corn is more tolerant to climatic extremes due to its longer growing period compared to the other crops studied.

In conclusion, the study confirms the susceptibility of selected cereal crops to the impacts of climate variability in the North Central States of Nigeria. Different climatic variables exerted varying levels of impact on crop yield. As a result, it is essential to adopt smart climate technologies and innovative agricultural practices to ensure the sustainability of cereal crop yields in the face of ongoing challenges posed by climate variability in the region.

“The Influence of Climate Variability on Cereal Crop Production in Nigeria’s North Central States”

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