Document Type : Original Article
Department of Geography & amp; Environmental Management, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
Climatic parameters are part of the main determinants of agricultural production in many developing countries including Nigeria. This study analyzes the vulnerability of vegetable crops to the impact of rainfall and temperature variability and the management techniques in Kwara State agro-ecological region of Nigeria. Data on rainfall, temperature and vegetables (tomato, pepper, okra, amaranthus and garden egg) were collected for a period of twenty-five (25) years from the four agricultural zones of Kwara State. These were subjected to descriptive, correlation and regression analyses. The result revealed that climatic variables examined fluctuate but there has been constant increase in temperature over the years and year 2001 recorded the highest (40.06oC). Vegetable crop yield also fluctuates. Correlation analysis revealed that tomato correlates positively with rainfall, maximum and minimum temperature. Okra and pepper correlate positively with rainfall and maximum temperature and inverse correlation with minimum temperature. Amaranthus has an inverse correlation with rainfall and maximum temperature but correlates positively with minimum temperature although very low. Garden egg correlates with rainfall and inversely correlates with maximum and minimum temperature. Hence, vegetable crops examined are vulnerable to the impact of climatic variables but not too strong as there are other factors such as the nature of soil, specie of seedlings, chemicals among others that contributed to vegetable crop yield. Management techniques suggested to improve the productivity of vegetable crops in Kwara State include the use of modern agricultural techniques such as development of irrigation and water harvesting technologies.