The unpredictability of weather caused by climate change constitutes a major constraint to production of rain-fed crops. However, the perspective of Nigerian farmers on the impact of climate change on production of horticultural crops has not been fully exploited and documented. Therefore, the perception of farmers on the effect of climate change on production of tomato in Nigeria was investigated. Multistage sampling technique was used to select 202 respondents from four predominantly tomato producing zones: Southeastern (Imo), Southwestern (Oyo), Northeastern (Gombe) and Northcentral (Benue). This consisted 25% extension blocks out of which 50% cells based on existing Agricultural Development Projects (ADP) structure. Ten percent respondents comprising tomato farmers were selected. Focus group discussions and structured interview schedule were used to elicit responses on farmers personal characteristics; changes in farmers production between 2000 and 2009 and perception of effects on production were assessed. Data were analyzed using predictive statistics, Pearson product moment correlation, and ANOVA at p = 0.05. Mean age of respondents was 46.0+9.5 years and mean family size was 6.9+ 3.2 persons. Majority (83.9%) of the respondents were male, 63.5% cultivated 1-3 hectares. Seventy-eight of respondents experienced decrease in tomato production between 2000 and 2009 and climate change was adduced as reason for change in tomato production by 61.8% of respondents. Changes in production of tomato across the four agricultural zones differ significantly (F = 7.441). Production of tomato in tones was highest in Northeastern (-x = 4394.9) while it was lowest in Southeastern (-x = 300.1). Climate change caused production decline of tomato between 2000 and 2009.
Tomato production, Climate change, Horticultural crops