COMPETENCE NEEDS OF EXTENSION AGENTS FOR AGRICULTURAL ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT
The overall purpose of the study was to determine the competence needs of extension agents for agricultural adaptation to climate change. Specifically, the study sought to ascertain the knowledge level of extension personnel on climate change; ascertain perceived roles of extension in agricultural adaptation; identify perceived competence needs of extension agents for agricultural adaptation; determine factors militating against competence building of extension agents for agricultural adaptation and identify the possible strategies to building competence of extension agents. The study tested the hypothesis that there is no significant relationship between personal/institutional characteristics and knowledge level of extension personnel on climate change and there is no significant relationship between personal factors and attitude of extension personnel to climate change. Data were collected using questionnaire administered to 93 extension personnel in the state Agricultural Development Programme. Data were presented with percentage and bar chart and analysed using mean score, standard deviation, factor analysis. The hypotheses were tested using logit model. Result of the study showed that 57.3% of extension personnel were females, while 43.0% were males. The mean age of the respondents was 45.2years and 93.5% of the respondents were married. Majority (53.3%) of the personnel had B.Sc/HND, 33.7% had OND/NCE, while 13.0% had M.Sc. Majority (63.4%) of the respondents had high knowledge of climate change and favourable attitude ((93.5%)) towards climate change. The respondents perceived roles of extension in climate adaptation were conducting workshops, seminars for creating awareness/knowledge of climate change and adaptation (M=3.74), facilitating access to relevant information (M=3.54), carrying out demonstration for teaching farmers measures used to mitigate or adapt to the effect of climate change (M=3.45) and others.

The respondents perceived communication (M=2.93), technical knowledge/skill/information on climate change (M=2.89), participatory extension strategies (M=2.81), use of information communication technology (M=2.72), facilitation (M=2.72) as major areas of competence needs of extension agents. The major constrains militating against competence building of extension agents for climate change adaptation include inadequate fund (M=3.80), inadequate knowledge and technology on climate change (M=3.70), lack of incentives/motivation of extension agents (M=3.64) and others. The position of the extension personnel in extension organization and year spent in the organization were significantly (B=-5.844, p<0.05)(B=0.487,p<0.05) related to knowledge level of extension personnel, respectively. The study recommends that extension workers should possess mix of competence in the areas of subject matter, communication, ICTs and others for agricultural adaptation. The government should provide the needed infrastructure and funds to extension organization for training of extension personnel. Also there should be regular update of extension agents on climate change through in-house training underpinned by strong linkage and networking with research and other institutions.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background information
Agriculture is a strong and efficient activity which plays pivotal roles in provision of food, fibre, fuel and income for human existence. It gainfully employs over 70% of the world’s population and main source of income for rural households in developing countries (Chayal, Dhaka and Suwalka. 2010). Agriculture is an important sector of the Nigeria’s economy because eighty percent of the rural dwellers depend on it as their major occupation, engaging in such activities as farming, hunting, fishing and livestock farming (Ekong, 2003). However in Nigeria, most of the agricultural production is rain fed. It depends highly on weather and climate in order to produce food and fiber necessary to sustain human life. Consequently, it is expected to be vulnerable to climate variability and change (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2007).

Climate change is defined as a change in the average climatic condition of a place. (Anyadike, 2009). It refers to a statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period (typically decades or longer) (IPCC, 2007). According to Seiz and Foppa (2007) in Umunnakwe (2011) climate change is the result of many factors including the dynamic processes of the earth, external forces including variations in sunlight intensity and more recently, human activities or anthropogenic factors. The most concern of anthropogenic factors are the increase in the carbon dioxide (CO2), Chlorofluoro carbons (CFC), Methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and water vapour level due to emissions from fossil fuels, cement manufacture, agriculture and deforestation (Steinfeld, 2006; Oyebade, 2009).


According to IPCC (2007), agriculture contributes significantly to climate change, primarily through the production and release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as carbon dioxide, methane and Nitrous oxide among others. Ebil (2000) in Okolo (2011) reported that it is responsible for approximately fifteen percent (15%) of all the greenhouse gas emission that help to aggravate climate change. The “Slash and Burn” practice associated with farming system of forest and savannah regions is blamed for its enormous contribution to the accumulation of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere which contribute to climate change (Cleaver, Kevin and Goetz, 1994 in Okoroh, 2011). Fertilizer also is a significant source of emission in the agricultural sector. Chemical fertilizers typically contain the CHC; N2O and the application of fertilizer to vegetation leads to N2O emission over a 100 years time span (United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 2007). Natural decay of waste water, crop waste (e.g.basgasse from sugar cane, empty palm fruit from oil production) and animal waste (e.g. from piggeries or cattle herds) can cause emission of the potent CHC methane (CH4).

Globally, climate change has a lot of negative effect to life . It is considered as one of the serious threats to sustainable development, with the adverse impacts expected on the human health, food security, environment, and physical infrastructure (African-Wide Civil Society Climate Change Initiative for Policy Dialogues (ACCID), 2010). FAO (2009), reports that it alters the condition for food safety by increasing diseases on plants and animals. Due to increase in temperature caused by climate change, the oceans expand raising sea levels and reducing the amount of land available for agriculture (Devereux and Edwards 2004). Warmer oceans experience greater exploration resulting in higher rainfall which together with rising sea levels, contribute to erosion and flooding (McCarthy, Canziani, LelaryDokkemet al., 2001; Lama and Derkota 2009). Many parts of Africa are suffering severe drought and floods which destroyed roads and buildings and wiped out millions of hectares of farmlands (Spores, 2008).

Climate change is projected to have significant impacts on conditions affecting agriculture, including temperature, carbon dioxide, gracial runoff, precipitation and the interaction of these elements (Yesuf, Difalce, Deressa, and Kohlin, 2008). It affects agriculture seriously through change in availability of water which leads to frequent floods and drought resulting in variability in crop yields in different ecological zones (IPCC, 2007). Adverse effect is also.....

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Item Type: Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 135 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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