PRODUCTIVITY AND WELFARE EFFECTS OF CLIMATESMART ADAPTATION PRACTICES OF CROP FARMING HOUSEHOLDS IN THE SAVANNA REGION OF NIGERIA
Climate change distorts agricultural production and impacts negatively on the welfare of farming households in Nigeria. The climate-smart adaptation (CSA) strategies have the potential to mitigate the effects of climate change while preserving the natural resourcebase. However, there is limited empirical knowledge on the impacts of usage of such strategies on the productivity and welfare of farmers. The study assessed the productivity and welfare effects of CSA practices on crop farming households in the savanna region of Nigeria. Theobjectives of the study were to: (i) identify crop specific CSA strategies; (ii) examine the factors that influence the choice of CSA strategies; (iii) assess the determinants of the use intensity of CSA; (iv) determine the productivity and welfare effects of the usage of CSA strategies; and (v) identify the constraints to the use of CSA strategies. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data for the study through a three-stage sampling technique involving the selection of 391 households from 33 Enumeration Areas (EAs) constituting about 6% of the rural-based EAs in Benue and Niger States. Descriptive statistics, tetrachoric correlation, multivariate probit regression, Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression, heterogenous treatment effects (HTE), conditional recursive mixed process (CMP) for sequential joint estimations, and Garrett ranking score were used to analyse the data at 5% level of significance. The findings of the study were that: i. crop rotation and intercropping with legumes, green manure, and farmyard manure were the common CSA strategies used in the production of cereals, pulses as well as roots and tubers. In addition, minimum tillage and improved varieties of seeds were used for cereals; ii. tetrachoric correlation coefficients showed that 80% of the pairs of CSA strategies have between 17 and 74% relationships in the simultaneity of usage; iii. farmer’s age and education, group membership, credit constraint, risk perception, risk experience and household perception of effectiveness of strategiesare factors that influence the choice of the CSA strategies; iv. usage of the CSA strategies reduced with age of the farmers, but increased with farm size, soil fertility perception, market distance, number of livestock owned, and years of continuous use of farm; v. usage of fertilizer deep placement and cover cropping increased the yields of cerealsby 65% and 31% respectively, while improved crop varieties as well as crop rotation with legumes increased yield of pulses by 43%and 63% respectively. Mulching increased yield of roots and tubers by 43%; vi. Based on CMP estimate, a percentage increase in yields of cereals, pulses, and roots and tubers improved household welfare by 340%, 1.15% and 0.43% respectively; and vii. the use of CSA strategies is constrained by the initial establishment and labour costs, farm tenure security status,and market distance to purchase of relevant CSA inputs. The study concluded that CSA strategies had positive impacts on crop productivity and household welfare. The study recommended the use of farmer groups as platform for promotion of the use of CSA and provision of on-lending facilities for farmers.