Socio – Economic Impacts of Prolonged Little Dry Season (August Break) in a Climatic Changed Era in Agrarian Communities of Anambra River Basin, Anambra State, Nigeria
The food supply and demand situation for the 2020 fiscal year concerning the main seasonal crops in Nigeria was unpredictable due to the effect of Covid-19 pandemic. Federal and state governments laid much emphasis as a result on agriculture, especially crop production in order to produce food enough to ameliorate hunger, which is one of the negative effects of Covid-19. Nigeria been a rain fed dependent agricultural nation, follows the dictate of weather and other weather elements in her agricultural activities. With climate change and the effect of Little Dry Season, there was a reduction in rainfall in mid-July through August 2020.
Rice and Maize which are among the staple foods in Nigeria requires about 750mm to 1200mm of rainfall to thrive. The mean monthly rainfall recorded in our study area (part of Anambra River Basin) consisting of Ayamelum, Anambra West, Anambra East, Oyi and Dunukofia local government areas are 21.15mm and 3.25mm for July, 2020 and August, 2020 respectively. As a result of the shortage of rainfall in these two months, the farmers and the authors observed these negative outcomes which are early maturity of crops; early harvesting of crops as well as poor yields for early season crops. While during the late season planting, farming was affected by the hardening of the ground as a result of absence of rainfall; undissolved fertilizers in farm lands; partial germination of scattered seedlings; Ant, Birds and Rodent infestation and stunted growth. Base on our observation, it was concluded that yields and harvest would be poor and subsequently there would be shortage of food and price hike in food items. The paper recommends for the revitalization of the moribund irrigation facility in Omor, Ayamelum local government area to provide for the shortfall in moisture that is likely to occur in the absence of rainfall.
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