The earth is warming. This is the unequivocal conclusion of the Fourth Assessment
Report of the IPCC (2007), which offers a complete investigation into how climate change
is affecting natural and human systems. This has led to a growing concern about the likely
consequences of climate change on poverty, economic growth, ecosystem services,

livelihood prospects, as well as overall human development. Smith et al. (2007), anticipated
that the poorest populations in developing countries are expected to bear the brunt of the
impacts of climate change, with costs on individuals (e.g. livelihood, agriculture, or water)
estimated to exceed billions of dollars in some countries. The direct and indirect effects of climate
change on poverty are enormous.
According to IPCC (2007), the relationship between agriculture and climate change is
a topic of increasing interest. Worldwide agricultural production is expected to decrease
under climate change projections, posing a threat to global food security. According to FAO
(2014) Climate change is likely to cause considerable crop yield losses thereby adversely
affecting smallholder livelihoods in Africa. As a result, food security and income generation
opportunities for the farming households that are most reliant on agriculture may be in
jeopardy (FAO, 2014). However, it is also important to note that agriculture contributes a
significant amount of global emissions annually, which would increase with the
intensification or expansion of production to meet higher demand. In addition, estimates
attribute as much as 80% of global deforestation to agriculture (Fanen and Adekola, 2014).
The IPCC 4th Assessment Report predicts that climate change could cause yields to decrease
by as much as 50% in some highly vulnerable areas, including sub-Saharan Africa (Fanen
and Adekola, 2014). According to this report “Warming in Sub-Saharan Africa including
Nigeria (SSA) is expected to be greater than the global average and rainfall will decline in
certain areas. Also, cereal production growth for a range of crops in SSA is projected to
decline by a net 3.2 % in 2050 as a result of climate change. Reddy and Hodges (2000). Have
stated that under climate change, the largest negative yield impacts are projected for wheat
followed by sweet potatoes. However, millet and sorghum yields are projected to be slightly
higher under climate change, probably given their higher tolerance to higher temperatures
and drought stress in Sub-saharan Africa (SSA). Assunção and Chein Feres (2009) evaluated
that in Brazil, on average, agricultural productivity per hectare could decline by 18 % by
2040 as a result of climate change, but that, at the city level, impacts could range from a
decrease of 40 percent to an increase of 15 percent. Climate change equally leaves many
more people vulnerable to poverty. IFRC (2000) estimated that above half of the world’s
population as well as most of the productive lands and urban areas are situated in coastal and
delta regions where climate-related disasters are prominent. These areas are
predominantly found where the highest number of deprived households live, especially
in Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, consequences of climate change such as submerging,
droughts, and landslides amongst others, will not only reduce farm yields for many but will also
leave them vulnerable to poverty in the short, medium, or long term. It is therefore imperative
to design policies as well as enforce practices that adapt to the current observed changing
In the developing world, climate change information and adequate response could be
regarded as a luxury especially at the national level.
However, community sensitization/awareness and community-based adaptations are
important aspects of climate change mainstreaming. Community-focused susceptibility and
adaptation valuations are significant tools in the sustenance of community-established
adaptations. True integration and/or training on climate change adaptation strategies at the
sub-national level will result in wider ownership of climate response and allow sketch on a
wider pool of financial and human resources for execution while promoting extra extensive
dimensions and institutional structure. Agriculture must therefore incorporate climate change
effects to ensure sustainability. The use of highly resilient varieties is another exercise that
Analysis of the challenges of climate-smart agricultural practices among crop farmers could

advance or increase income leading to reduced poverty by households and increasing

their efficiency.
According to Kijima (2011), Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) is defined as
agriculture that sustainably increases production and income, resilience as a result, eliminates
greenhouse gases emission (mitigation), which heightens the accomplishment of national
food security, and developmental objectives and reduced poverty (FAO, 2010). Agriculture is
considered to be climate smart when it achieves three main goals: (i) The sustainable increase
in agricultural production and income, (ii) The acclimatizing and building resilience to
climate alteration, and (iii) The reduction or elimination greenhouse gas (GHG) emission,
(Fanen and Adekola, 2014). Climate-smart farming promotes the transformation of
agricultural systems and agricultural policies to increase food production to enhance food
security and ensure that food is affordable (low input-cost) hence reducing poverty while
preserving the environment and ensuring resilience to a changing climate (Mnkeni and
Mutengwa, 2014). Climate change adaptation, particularly at the local or sub-national levels,
matter for two reasons: First, the impacts are best felt and understood at the local level;
climate change impacts are also observed at the low-level areas where the vulnerability and
adaptive capability are very much specific. Second, most adaptation alternatives, for the need
of being effective, involve implementation at the local level and fruitful initiatives pioneered
at the local level may be replicated and scaled up nationally. It is on this note that this
research seeks to ascertain the influence of climate-smart agricultural practices on poverty
status among farmers in Northwest Nigeria. The Nigerian story presents a contradiction
because the country is rich, but the individuals are poor. In Africa, climate-smart agriculture
offers multiple benefits in line with the attainment of the goals of a sustainable increase in
the reliability and productivity of agricultural systems, an increase in smallholder farmers
resilience and adaptation to the effects of climate change and reduction in greenhouse gas
emissions from agricultural practices (Naess, 2011). Therefore, CSAP focuses on
contributing to economic development, poverty reduction, and food security; maintaining and
enhancing the productivity and resilience of natural and agricultural ecosystem functions
(Ojoko et al., 2017), thus building natural capital; and reducing trade-offs involved in
meeting these goals”. This stresses the need for farmers to adopt the use of CSAP, which will
help in boosting agriculture to produce more on the same amount of land while adapting to a
changing climate. Terdoo and Adekola (2014), opined that, though many nations will be
expected to embrace climate-smart agriculture, its applicability in an African perspective is
not a very clear situation, and neither has its sustainability been evaluated. Farming in northern
Nigeria is mainly rural, with about 80 percent of the farmers involved in rain-fed agriculture
and subsistence in nature. It is the major source of income for many households in NorthWest Nigeria (Obayelu, 2010),

Climate plays a significant role in ensuring sustainable
agricultural production in many parts of Northern Nigeria. In addition, the low level of improved
agricultural technology compels the wide use of traditional farming systems. The latest
discrepancies in the climate and weather of the region have taken a severe toll on crop
production with some crop yields now declining in Nigeria (Reddy and Hodges, 2000). In
2010, conventional climate-smart agricultural practices were introduced to farmers through a
program called International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) with the
aid of Katsina State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KTARDA) and Sokoto
Agricultural Development Project (SADP). The climate-smart agricultural practices
introduced were the usage of organic manure, agroforestry, and conservation agriculture, the

usage of improved varieties and breeds, integrated crop/livestock management as well as
irrigation for small-holder farmers.
The adoption of various CSA practices among crop farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa
has been constraint by socio-economic, policy, and institutional framework and cultural
barriers. Moussa et al. (2012) and Collins et al. (2022) found that farmers face socioeconomic, institutional, biophysical and climate-related challenges in the adoption of CSAPs
in Mali. In another recent study, Antti et al. (2021) examined the constraints of adopting
climate-smart agricultural practices among smallholder farmers in Southeast Kenya and also
found dissonance in the perceived awareness of CSA practices and utilization of CSA
technologies between state actors and farmers. While state actors emphasize lack of
awareness as a barrier to adoption, farmers express knowledgeability regarding
environmental change and climate-smart practices but are confined by limitations and
restrictions posed by market mechanisms, land tenure issues, and lack of resources. These
restrictions include uncertainty in product prices, lack of land ownership, scarcity of arable
land, and simply lack of capital or willingness to invest. Farmers are further challenged by
the emergence of new pests and human–wildlife conflicts. Numerous studies have been
done on CSAP adoption at the National, Regional, and State levels (Ogwumike and Akinnibosun,
2013; Anyanwu, 1997), however, spatial heterogeneity in agroecological conditions on a
regional level necessitates locally appropriate responses to climate change adaptation. Ekpoh
(2010); Ekpa et al. (2017); Ojoko et al. (2017) assessed the effect of climate change and
adaptation on agriculture by rural farmers in North-Western Nigeria., they examined factors
influencing the level of use of climate-smart agricultural practices (CSAPs) in Sokoto state,
Nigeria and found that conservation agriculture was the most predominantly climate-smart
agricultural practice in the area. Analyzing the challenges of climate-smart agriculture
practices among smallholder farmers in North West Nigeria is yet to be given attention.
However, the current study contributed to this information gap by analyzing the challenges
that crop farmers faced in the use of climate-smart agricultural practices in Northwest Nigeria.
Our research questions to investigate the constraints of CSAP adoption are: (1) which climate
change-related challenges do crop farmers face in the study area? (2) What factors restrain
the use of climate-smart practices? (3) Is there any association between socio-economic
factors and the use of CSAP in the study area? This study adds to the body of literature on
climate change adaptation in Northwest, Nigeria, specifically, it provides insight into
target extension program design that supports sustainable agricultural development.

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