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Climate change adaptation in Nigerian agricultural sector: A systematic review and resilience check of adaptation measures

1 Faculty of Agriculture, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
2 Faculty of Education, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
3 Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
4 Faculty of Agriculture, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria
5 Department of Economics, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria

The changing climate is adversely affecting the productivity and livelihoods of Nigerian smallholder rural farmers. Several studies predict worsening outcomes for future climate events, for example heat waves, drought and intense precipitation. Farmers are required to adopt several measures to thrive, given the observed or expected climate change events. Existing studies about the interaction between climate change the agriculture sector has focused evaluating the bi-directional causal relationships, and identifying adaptation measures, but research on the climate resilience aspect of these adaptation measures is missing, or at best, low. This study aims to fill this gap in knowledge by assessing resilience and contribution to sustainability of farmer-adopted measures aimed at addressing risks posed by climate change. We conduct a systematic review of 95 studies concentrating on climate adaptation by smallholder rural farmers in Nigeria in the period 2010 to 2019. We assess the climate resilience of adaptation measures using the Ifejika-Speranza Resilience Check Toolkit. Our findings show that farmers are using climate-resilient adaptation measures; however, we could not ascertain how these have led to sustainable agricultural systems, since it is not the focus of the current study. Our findings show that majority of the adaptation studies in Nigeria are focused on crop farming subsystem. The major agricultural ecosystems and the broad adaptation areas are: Crop farming (improved soil and land management, crop-specific Innovation, water management practices, climate information services and education, access to finance, and off-farm diversification), livestock farming (improved livestock management systems, improved breeding strategies, sustainable health improvement, proper feed formulation early maturing and heat-resistant bird varieties), and fish farming (water harvesting measures, organic material, quick-maturing varieties).
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