A.O. Kayode *, A.O. Awoyemi, O.A. Alabi
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515 Ilorin, Nigeria
(Manuscript received 9 November 2021; accepted for publication 20 May 2022)
Abstract. Climate change has resulted in challenging environmental issues, which have become a major global concern. Farmers therefore employ several methods which are adaptable to environmental hazards. The study assessed preferences of rice farmers’ coping strategies to environmental hazards in Kwara state, Nigeria. Specifically, the study, assessed frequency of occurrence of the environmental hazards faced by the rice farmers, identified the preferred coping strategies used by rice farmers and determined the effects of environmental hazards on rice production. A two-stage random sampling technique was used to select 151 rice farmers on whom an interview schedule was administered. Descriptive statistics and Pearson Product Moment Correlation were used to analyzed the data. Results showed that 94.0% of the respondents were males 45.7 mean years old, 6.6 hectares of farm size and an average of 18.7 years of farming experience, flooding, erosion and wind storm having the highest occurrence frequency in rice production. Planting of improved varieties, early planting, avoiding to plant along river borders were the most preferred coping strategies used by rice farmers. Reduction in farm output, reduction in values of farm produce, decrease of farmers’ income was identified as major effects of environmental hazards on rice production. There was also a significant relationship between age (r=0.3551), household size (r=0.215), farming experience (r=0.262) and the use of preferred coping strategies. The study concluded by identifying preferred coping strategies to environmental hazard in the study area and recommends that to reduce its effect on rice production, improved rice varieties should be made available at affordable and subsidized rate by the government and relevant bodies, timely and appropriate information on weather monitoring should be available to the rice farmers through reliable and appropriate channels.