Impact of climate variability on vegetable crops in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria
Climate is one of the key factors in agricultural productivity. Climate variability plays an important role in food production. Vegetable crops are sensitive to climate variability. This paper examines the impacts of climate variability on vegetable crops in Ilorin, Nigeria. Climatic data on temperature, relative humidity, rainfall and sunshine hours were collected for a period of ten years. Agricultural data on the yield of sweat potato, okra, pepper, tomato and Amaranthus were also collected for the same period. Multiple regression, trend analysis, correlation statistics and Standardized Anomaly Index (SAI) were employed in the data analysis. The results obtained indicate that the selected climatic elements have weak impact on the yield of okra, sweat potato, pepper, and Amaranthus. However, the selected climatic elements have strong impact on the yield of tomato. These results imply that variation in the yield of okra, sweat potato, pepper, and Amaranthus could be attributed to non- climatic factors like soil fertility and crop management practices while variation in the yield of tomato could be attributed to climatic factors. The paper thus suggests measures such as breeding new varieties of tomato that are tolerant to climatic stress or variability, application of fertilizer to improve the fertility of the soil and the use of modern agricultural techniques to improve the productivity of vegetable crops in Ilorin.
Keywords: Climate, crops, Ilorin, variability, vegetable
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