Towards a Systemic Analysis of the Impacts of Climate Change on Agricultural Production in Nigeria

Laura Schmitt-Olabisi delivering her seminar presentation organized at the IFPRI Abuja Office.

On 9 March 2017, Dr. Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Associate Professor, Michigan State University, gave a seminar presentation at the IFPRI
Abuja Office titled “Towards a Systemic Analysis of the Impacts of Climate Change on Agricultural Production in Nigeria”. Her presentation was based on research that provided a systematic analysis of the potential impact of climate change on agricultural production in Nigeria using a participatory research method.
A workshop of key stakeholders with diverse and in-depth knowledge of Nigerian agriculture was convened in Ibadan, Nigeria, in June, 2016. Using a causal loop diagramming (CLD) technique, these stakeholders were grouped by region and led them through an exercise in which they drew diagrams depicting the barriers to, and opportunities for, Nigerian agricultural development.

Participants of the Climate Change seminar organized at the IFPRI Abuja Office.

CLD is a method used in system dynamics modeling, and it is effective for identifying causal relationships between variables as well as feedback mechanisms. As expected, there were interesting differences across the 6 geopolitical zones of Nigeria reflecting their agro ecological differences. However, all groups identified at least one reinforcing feedback loop linked to agricultural productivity. This indicates a current ‘low productivity trap’—low productivity levels reinforcing a state of low productivity—which could potentially turn into self-reinforcing productivity gains with some systemic interventions. There was also a clear indication of other environmental factors (separate but linked to climate change) affecting Nigerian agriculture. This indicates the need to evaluate the combined impact of multiple environmental drivers, rather than attributing all potential impacts to climate change. The seminar was well received and attended by 22 participants (16 males and 6 females) including representatives from the development partners, USAID, FMARD, academia, NGOs, and research institutes based in Nigeria.

The seminar presentation was based on FSP Research Paper 21 co-authored by Dr. Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Dr. Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, and Dr. Adeola Olajide. This publication is part of the research output emanating from the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project, a joint effort between the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)’s Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) and Michigan State University funded by USAID/Nigeria.

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