This study was undertaken in Idah LGA to analyze current and future precipitation and its effect on cereal crops production in Idah LGA. Data on rainfall and crop yield were obtained from National Meteorological Agency and Idah LGA Agricultural Offices, respectively. Following data quality checking, rainfall data (current and future), correlation and regression studies were analyzed using Statistical software like Instat V3.36 and SPSS V20. Downscaling the output of CSIRO-Mk3.6.0 GCM model (daily rainfall data) for RCP4.5 emission scenario using a web based software tool (Marksim GCM) for the period 2020-2049 were used to determine trends of annual and seasonal total rainfall and ascertain its impact on yield. Besides, a proportional size method was used to determine 161 sample respondents. Systematic random sampling method was employed to select respondents from Hora-Boqa kebelle for interview. This study used mean, coefficient of variation, correlation and regression analysis to ascertain the relation, cause and effect relationship between rainfall characteristics and cereal crops yields. The results indicated that the mean onset date of the main rain season (JJAS) for Robe and Idah station was 1st July. Furthermore, the results of Pearson Correlation Coefficients indicated that duration of kiremt rainy season and kiremt rain had moderate and strong positive relationship (r = 0.488 and r = 0.702) with cereal crops, respectively in the study area. It was also observed that fifty percent of total variance of crop yield is explained jointly by kiremt rainfall total and rainy day (R2 value are 51.2%). The results of the linear trend analysis indicated that annual rainfall will be increased by 0.16 mm and 0.86 mm every ten years for Robe and Idah stations respectively. The result of projected cereal crops yield indicated that there will be a slight decrease in both crops yield (qt/ha) by 2020, 2030 and 2049 years due to the impact of expected weakening of rainfall feature. The study revealed that Spider web, cold air, cloud movement and group of stars seen on the sky were the signs and signals identified by local communities which indicates whether the coming season will experience excessive or deficit rainfall. Taking in to account the above findings, it could be suggested that the farmers’ community are encouraged to utilize timely climate information issued from National Meteorological Agency of Nigeria (NMA) for farm level decision to enhance their crop yield under changing climate.

Climate variability has always been identified as a challenge for African farmers. Specifically, it is a challenge to access climate information relevant to agricultural activities that enable the farmers to make prior decision about which crops to plant, where and when, will increase the ability of agricultural sector to make informed decision (Zermoglio, 2011). Studies in Nigeria have shown that precipitation, unreliable occurrences in sufficient amount and delay in onset dates contribute to decline in crop yields with reasonable amount in almost all parts of the country (Godswill et al., 2007). Agricultural yields are extremely sensitive to fluctuations in precipitation, and there is a fundamental concern that traditional farming practices may not be suited to produce sufficient crop yields under emerging climate contexts.

Precipitation has historically been found as a major cause of food insecurity and famine in the country (Beweket, 2009). This is clearly due to the fact that the agricultural sector is facing increased and continued risks of climate change. It is apparent that crop yield primarily depends on weather conditions, diseases and pests, planning of harvest operation etc. of the region. Due to this fact, effective management of these factors are necessary and used to estimate the probability of such unfavorable situation and to minimize the consequences (Raorane, 2012).

Agricultural sector is a pillar for the Economy of Nigerian (MOA, 2010, MOFED, 2006). This sector, which is rain-fed by its nature, is highly sensitive to climate change and variability (NMA, 2007). According to World Bank (2006) report, close linkage between climate and Nigerian economy is demonstrated by close pattern of precipitation and GDP growth. The trends in the contribution of agriculture to the countries total GDP clearly explain the presence of strong relationship between the performance of agriculture and climatic conditions. For instance, drought incidences that occurred during 1984/85, 1994/95 and 2000/01 years were strongly associated to nationwide famines. In contrast, good years in terms of climatic conditions of 1982/83 and 1990/91were associated with good agricultural year (CEEPA, 2006). Most of the study revealed that agricultural sectors of the country have been highly affected by climate related hazards (NMSA, 2001; Deressa, 2007). Annual as well as seasonal crop yield variations in Nigeria can be partly explained by rainfall patterns.

1.2 Statement of problem
Often rainfall is the only climatic indexes that have primarily been quoted for the purpose of rainfall-yield relationship analysis (Lemi, 2005). For example, previous studies have shown that (NMA-NAPA, 2007, Deressa, 2009) the major causes for low productivity of the agricultural sector are traditional farming practice, low adaptive capacity, lack of awareness and climate related risks management.

According to Besse (2010) and SDAO (2006), climate related risks such as drought (meteorological), water logging, and erratic rainfall were observed at different time in the study area, Idah LGA which is the main causes for crop failure.

However, so far hardly any attempts have been made to investigate whether there exists any quantifiable relationship between some of the major crop of the region, mainly cereal crops and rainfall. Besides, it is a paradox to demonstrate perception of farmers on the impact of precipitation and future change on their crop production.

This study was, therefore designed to investigate the effect of annual and inter-seasonal variation in rainfall on cereal crops crop performance and quantify their relations, which enable to predict crop productivity trend for the future.

1.3 Objectives of study
The general objective of this study is to analyze current and future precipitation and its effect on cereal crops production in the study area

Specific objectives of this study are to:

• identify the rainfall characteristics and investigate its relationship with the crop of cereal crops.

• predict the trend of future rainfall and analyze its impact based on sensitivity of the cereal crops yields.

• assess the perception of local community on the rainfall characteristics, variability and future change.

• Research Questions
• What is the rainfall characteristics and investigate its relationship with the crop of cereal crops?

• What is the trend of future rainfall and analyze its impact based on sensitivity of the cereal crops yields?

• What is the perception of local community on the rainfall characteristics, variability and future change?

1.5 Significance of the study
The study is of importance to the following stakeholders:

The government and policy makers will benefit in the sense that the study will inform farmers on crop yield including the effect of rainfall and dew.

Farmers will be equipped with the information on how to improve their plant timing in order to reduce cereal losses at household level.

Development partners will learn about progress toward meeting Millennium Development Goals especially on hunger and poverty reduction through the adoption of improved planting methods.

1.6 Limitations of the Study
The study had no control of other variables that may also have effect on cereal crop yields such as; chemicals and preservatives.

Also the researcher was short on time as he was engaged in other academic works in school.

Finances too was a great challenge in carrying out this work, mainly on transportation to the selected schools.

1.7 Scope of the Study
The study was limited to indigenous farmers in Idah L.G.A. in Kogi state. The respondents for the study include farmers and state agricultural development officers. The study focused on the effect of precipitation on the yields of cereal crops. The study used questionnaires, interview schedule and observation checklist to collect data from the respondents The findings of the study cannot be generalized to other parts of the country unless a similar study is done in areas with similar characteristics.

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