Climate Variability and Livelihood Vulnerability in the Rural Areas of Lagos State

G.O. Akolade, Lagos State Polytechnic, Nigeria

Over the years, agriculture has remained an important livelihood strategy for the rural people of Lagos State of Nigeria. While a large majority of these people are predominantly farmers, many others practice farming as supplementary enterprise. This study therefore investigates the effect of climate variability on agricultural livelihood in the State. Using data on climate, socioeconomic and livelihood statistics of rural households, it develops a precipitation adequacy index, which incorporates the spatial and temporal variability of precipitation. The results indicate that precipitation variability has the most dominant climate influence on agricultural livelihood. Humidity is associated with significant negative influence on agricultural livelihood while temperature has little significant effect. Given that about 36 percent of households in Lagos State are rural, these results have considerable implications for rural income, quality of life and the growing rate of urbanization in the Lagos Metropolis. It is therefore imperative to consider adaptation measures such as staggered planting, crop diversification and water resources development as crucial strategies for the preservation of livelihoods of the rural people of Lagos State of Nigeria.