1 1.BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Climate change contributes to land and other natural resources degradation. Besides exposing soils to extreme and unfavorable conditions, climate change reduces the ability of some land management practices to achieve desired results (Malo, Jember and Woodfine, 2012). Land use is generally marked by a coinciding set of interests dictated by agriculture, forestry, settlement, infrastructure and industry; however, “climate change affects these interests by influencing soil fertility, water resources and biomass accumulation through changing and more extreme weather patterns” (Streck, 2010). This results in vegetation cover degradation and loss of biodiversity, organic matter depletion, poor infiltration of rainwater and reduced capacity of soils to hold water and hence productivity losses (Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), 2014). In fact, annual cropland productivity losses in Sub-Saharan Africa are between 0.5-1 percent suggesting 20% productivity loss over the last 40 years (World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 2015).
In Nigeria, it is projected that increased rainfall intensity, brought about by climate change, could lead to land degradation especially through flooding, erosion of farmlands, and a decrease in soil fertility (Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), 2011). Rural Linkage Network, (2011) found that 89.0%, of farmers in Niger Delta Nigeria, experienced heavy rainfall pattern and this could subsequently lead to land degradation and reduced output. In fact, rain negatively affected cassava output between the years 1980 and 2011 in Imo State Nigeria (Nwaobiala and Nottidge, 2013). Also, catastrophic flooding in Nigeria in 2012 led to the degradation of farmlands and crop loss amounting to 305.1 billion naira (FGN, 2013).