GENDER PERCEPTION AND ADAPTATION PRACTICES OF SMALLHOLDER CASHEW FARMERS TO CLIMATE VARIABILITY IN ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

Author(s): Ebe, F. E., Eze, S. O. and Onyebinama C. I.
Volume/Issue: Volume 3 , Issue 1 (2023)

ABSTRACT:

The study was conducted in Enugu state. The study employed purposive and random sampling techniques in the selection of 160 male and female cashew farmers in five local government areas with high concentration of cashew producers. Data were collected through primary sources with the aid of questionnaire and oral interview. The analysis of the collected data was achieved with descriptive statistics (frequency, mean, percentage and Likert scale) and multiple regression analysis. The findings from the study showed that the mean ages of male and female farmers were 71.9 and 68.6 years respectively. Majority of the respondents were educated, married with large family sizes of 6 and 5 persons for the male and female farmers. The male and female respondents had long years of experiences in cashew production with farm sizes of 3.5 and 2.2 hectares for the male and female farmers respectively. Both male and female cashew producers’ perceived heavy rainfall, high temperature, long day sun shine and wind storm as evidence of climate variability in last five years and these affected the productivity and yield of the cashew tree negatively. Both the male and female respondents used mulching, regular maintenance of the cashew plantation, intercropping with annual crops and use of earl maturing and improve varieties as adaptation practices to mitigate the risk of climate variability. The factors that positively and significantly influenced adaptation practices employed by both sexes were household size, education, experience, awareness to climate change and membership of farmers’ associations. Policy that should aim at supporting cashew farmers to climate change adaptation programme is advocated. The programme will take into consideration gender differentials and support to both male and female farmers through capacity building, sensitization and other educational programmes. There is need that the farmers are made to have access to micro credit and extension services in order to strengthen and consolidate the farmers’ capacities in adapting adaptation practices that could reduce the risk of climate change and variability.

KEYWORDS:

Climate variability, Gender perception, Adaptation practices, Cashew farmers