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Abstract

Purpose. The purpose of the article – to assess the technical efficiency of climate adaptation practices on cassava production in two different agro-ecological zones within the study area to know where the climate adaptation practices are more productive. To achieve the main objective of the study, the specific objectives were stated as follows: (a) describe relevant socio-economic characteristics of cassava farmers in southwestern region of Nigeria; (b) assess the influence of the used climate change adaptation strategies on technical efficiency of cassava production in both agro-ecological zones. Methodology / approach. The study was carried out in Ekiti, Osun and Oyo State in the southwestern region of Nigeria, where two different agro-ecological zones (AEZ) (rain forest and guinea savannah) were chosen for the study. The study used multi-stage sampling procedures, with well-structured questionnaire, to select 150 cassava producers from each AEZ, making a total of 300 cassava producers for the study. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics and stochastic frontier production function. Results. From the study, it was revealed that cassava farmers in the study area were relatively young, fairly educated, mostly married, well experienced, adequately aware of climate change, but operated on a small scale. The result on the influence of climate adaptation strategies on technical efficiency of cassava production in both rain forest and savannah AEZs within the study area revealed that technical inefficiency existed in cassava production as confirmed by the gamma values of 0.687 and 0.639 in rain forest and savannah respectively Originality / scientific novelty. The study has really revealed diverse climate adaptation options available to cassava farmers in order to sustain its production as a means of employment to the unemployed, food consumption and contribution to the national gross domestic product. Studies comparing climate adaptation practices on the technical efficiency of cassava production in different agro-ecological zones in southwestern part of Nigeria are relatively scarce considering the mixture of socio-economic and climate variables to assess technical efficiency of cassava production. Practical value / implications. The study has succeeded in identifying key factors that will enables policy makers to formulate a sustained policy framework that would encourage the use of multiple climate adaptation practices by the cassava farmers. To ensure sustainability of cassava production, it is therefore recommended that farmers should use different adaptation strategies to climate change e.g crop diversification, multiple planting dates, land fragmentation, use of improved varieties and off farm income activities that would bring increase in their scale of operation as most of the cassava farmers in the study areas cultivated less than 2 hectares of land for cassava production.

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