Do rice farmers have knowledge of greenhouse gas emission mitigation strategies? New evidence from Nigeria

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The greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from rice fields contribute significantly to global warming and climate change. Therefore, mitigating emissions from rice fields is critical to limiting global warming, increasing yield, and income, ensuring food security, and improving the standard of living for farmers and all. Understanding farmers’ knowledge of GHG emissions and mitigation strategies is among the crucial starting points for deciding what steps should be made to mitigate emissions from rice fields and produce rice in a cleaner environment.

Millions of families throughout the world depend on rice, the second-most popular food crop (behind wheat) to meet their dietary calorie needs. According to projections, the demand for rice will increase by 56% by the end of 2050 compared to the production level of 25.1 million tons in 2001 as a result of the population growth rate.

A large increase in rice production is required to supply this need on a worldwide scale. In Nigeria, rice is a primary staple grain and is consumed in large quantities by all households including the affluent and poor. The structural rise in rice consumption over the years, with consumption spreading across all socioeconomic strata, including the poor, appears to have been caused by a confluence of many variables.

The rise in demand could be a result of rising income levels and population increase as well as the food’s convenience in terms of preparation, storage, and calorie availability. Rice is critical in Nigeria from separate vantage points: first, in terms of the number of calories (2.06kg) it provides per person and day; 24.80 kg of calories per annum and second, based on the value of income it generates through its various local production value chains. Meeting the increased demand for rice consumption in Nigeria requires increased production.

Also in Nigeria, the growing demand for rice exceeds supply, resulting in a rice deficit, with smuggled rice filling the expanding gap between domestic production and consumption, with about 2.0 million metric tons smuggled into Nigeria by the end of 2022. The efforts of the most populous nation in Africa to provide food security will be jeopardized by any reduction in rice output brought on by climate change impact and global warming.

Therefore, describing how climate change affects rice production, GHG emissions mitigation strategies and farmers’ knowledge are the kernels of this study. The Southeast region of Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, produces a significant amount of rice.

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