Open Access

Gender analysis of vulnerability of smallholder farming households to climate variability and change in North-central Nigeria


The frequency and intensity of climatic variables as indicators of climate change have been increasingly recognised as global crisis with significant impact on biodiversity, household food security and gender roles. This study therefore analysed gender vulnerability of smallholder farming households to climate variability and change in North-central Nigeria. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used to select 768 respondents from the study area. Indicator-based approach was adopted for this study and a structured questionnaire was used to elicit data from 3, 6, and 8 indicators of three components of vulnerability: exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. Data obtained were subjected to linear normalisation, non-weight vulnerability index, and both descriptive and inferential statistics. Results show that both male- and female-headed households were vulnerable to changing climate and the female-headed ones were more vulnerable (0.410) compared to their male counterparts with an index of 0.321. The high vulnerability of female-headed households was due to their extent of exposure (0.839) and sensitivity (0.658) to climate change with low adaptive capacities (0.189). Also, there was a positive and significant difference between male (t = 5.142) and female (t = 5.079) headed households’ in their level of vulnerability to climate change (p ≤ 0.05). This study recommends access to technology that helps farmers receive timely information on climate variables, and farmers’ access to agricultural insurance scheme would help improve adaptive capacity and reduce their vulnerability. Also, gender-sensitive framework that could bridge the gaps between male- and female-headed households are needed to form a policy development agenda by the government in order to encourage more female households’ to participate in climate change mitigation.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Plant Science