Analysis of the effect of climate variability on food security of rural farming households in Osun State, Nigeria
This study examined rainfall and temperature trends inOsun State from meteorological data; and investigated the perceptions and understanding of the rural farmers on local climate variability. It also assessed the food security status of the rural farming households and analyzed the relationship between climate variability and the food security of the rural farming households in the State with a view to examining the effects of climate variability on their food security. Primary and secondary data were used for the study. The primary data were obtained from a total of one hundred and fifty rural farmers in six Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the State with the aid of well-structured and pre-tested questionnaires using multistage sampling technique. Annual time series data on temperature and rainfall inOsun State obtained from Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) were used as the secondary data. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, trend analysis, food security index and multiple linear regression analysis. Findings from this study showed that majority of the respondents were male (88.7%), married (84%), and with a mean age of 40±12.83 years. On the average, farm size was 4.53±2.80 hectares; household size was 8±3.48; years spent in school was 7.65±4.87 years; farming experience was 30±16.19 years while annual income was N674564.667±1390607.93. The average minimum temperature was 21.210±0.610C with the lowest being 19.160C which was recorded in 1997. The highest was 21.940C and was recorded in 2008. This followed an increasing pattern of 1.03% per year. The maximum temperature was 31.350±1.860C on the average, 30.480C being the lowest recorded in 1986, 32.210C the highest recorded in 1987 and also followed a similar increasing pattern of 2.02% per year. Total annual rainfall however followed a decreasing pattern (reducing at 5.4% per year) with a peak of 1865mm in 1984, lowest rainfall of 838.10mm was recorded in 1977 given an average of 933±294.84mm. Descriptive analysis revealed that all the respondents came to be aware of climate variability as they first noticed it 9±5.35 years ago and through personal observation. Majority (50.7%)noticed a decrease in annual rainfall, an increase in temperature (68.7%), an increase in prolong frequency of drought (32%) and an increase in the intensity of rainfall (52.7%). The food security index analysis indicated that majority of the respondents (74.7%) were food insecure with the mean food security index and average daily per capita calorie consumption of 0.944±0.383 and 2123.38±860.76kcal respectively. This signified that the rural population was food insecure. The multiple linear regression analysis showed that while sex and age negatively influenced food security, farming experience and total income had positive effects. Of the three climatic factors analysed, only frequency of drought was significant and had negative effect on food security. The study concluded that food insecurity persists among rural farming households in Osun State and is being affected negatively by increase in the frequency of droughts.