Assessment of Farm Households’ Vulnerability to Desertification in Rural Dry Lands of Katsina State, Nigeria
Keywords:Adaptation, Desertification, Dry lands, Farm Households, Vulnerability Index
The purpose of this study was to use a Vulnerability Index (VI) to assess farm households' vulnerability to desertification in Northern Katsina's dry land ecosystem. The specific objectives were to identify socio-economic characteristics of farm households; and determine the degree of their vulnerability to desertification. A systematic random sampling technique was used to select 633 respondents from 18 rural communities across six Local Government Areas (LGAs). Data from 21 indicators for the three components of vulnerability (exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity) were used to measure the degree of vulnerability and thus, classify households into less, moderate and highly vulnerable. The study found that households in Jibia LGA were less vulnerable, with a VI of 1.228, while Kaita, Mashi, and Mai'adua LGAs were moderately vulnerable with VI of 0.523, 0.756, and 0.685, respectively. Households in Zango and Baure LGAs were found to be highly vulnerable due to poor biophysical conditions, with indices of 1.629 and -1.405, respectively. Furthermore, while 49% of the total households sampled were moderately vulnerable to desertification, 30% were less vulnerable and 21% were found to be highly vulnerable. As a result, the study recommended that the need for vegetative cover regeneration, soil quality rehabilitation, increased irrigation use, and biomass stability that take into account the vagaries of climate be prioritized in order to support, rescue, and increase the resilience of vulnerable households.
Keywords: Adaptation, Desertification, Dry lands, Farm Households, Vulnerability Index.