Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change
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Benue State is Nigeria?s acclaimed food basket because of its rich agricultural produce. It boasts of one of the longest river
systems in the country with potential for a viable fishing industry and dry season farming through irrigation. Its forest
vegetation in the southern parts is characterized by forests, which yield trees for timber and provide a suitable habitat for rare
animals. Climate change will create a challenge to its ecosystem and farmers? livelihoods. In this study, farmers? perception and 30
years (1980-2009) meteorological records of temperature and rainfall were compared, adaptation practices and constraints were
also examined. The study found an increasing trend in minimum temperature (0.10oC), maximum temperature (0.49oC) and
rainfall amount (46.4mm/30 years). This corroborated majority of the farmers? perception. Rainfall was characterized by a shift
from the previously known pattern. Bush burning (58.2%) and tree cutting (52.7%) were the perceived leading causes of climate
change. The main adaptation options are changing planting date (86.4%) and changes in house construction (83.6%). Lack of
funds (61.8%) and inadequate weather information (31.8%) are the main constraints to adaptation. It is recommended that access
to agricultural credit and local weather services be incorporated into climate change adaptation strategies for farmers.
Akindeji Falaki is about completing his doctoral thesis at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He is a Senior Programme Officer at the National Orientation
Agency, Abuja, Nigeria. He has conducted many studies on climate change and agriculture and has worked on some rural livelihoods development
projects. He is a member of the Nigeria Environmental Study/Action Team (NEST). His research interest is in climate change perception and
adaptation, sustainable development, Agricultural extension and rural development.
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