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Climate change: a factor to farmers/herders crisis in Benue State, North Central, Nigeria


MOJ Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Chinago Budnukaeku Alexander

Abstract

The study “Climate Change: A Factor to Farmers and Herders Crisis in Benue State, North Central” focused on the crisis of farmers and herders in relation to the climate reality of the region. The study used 34 years rainfall date (1981-2014) for analyses. The study observed that rainfall in the entire State displayed a mono peak characteristic. The high rainfall months are May, June, July, August and September, with September having the highest rainfall. The rainy season is duration when farmers plant and tend their crops, it coincide with the natural period of foliage growth and the period of herders movement to the region as a result of extreme rainfall in the Southern part of Nigeria and insufficient rainfall in the Northern part. This implies that the crisis between farmers and herders are most likely to occur between the months of May to October, while crops are still in the farm. The annual rainfall trend and dispersion shows that rainfall distribution over the years is increasing, improved rainfall implies that natural vegetation and water will be available for animals, thereby encouraging the in flock of herders and there animals, a situation which will increase the rate of confrontations. The rather increasing rate of crisis in the face of improved rainfall points to either excessive herders’ presence or that other factor, other than climate change is responsible for the crisis. The analysis of the decadal rainfall also shows that the rainfall situation is improving of recent. Negative dispersion is an indication of low crisis, while a positive dispersion from point of climate change is an indication of heighten crisis between farmers and herders. The study also observed that improved medical knowledge has also led to the crisis. Period to improvement in the field of medical science climate influence movement of herders due to the presence of tsetse flies, but as a result of vaccination herders are staying more permanent in the region than before. Finally, ranked correlation shows the relationship between climate shift and crises between farmers and herders.

Keywords

climate shift, crisis, farmers, herders, movement, rainfall distribution and season

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