Trends and Bioclimatic Assessment of Extreme Indices: Emerging Insights for Rainfall Derivative Crop Microinsurance in Central-West Nigeria

Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
David Olufemi Awolala, West African Science Service Center for Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Department of Economics, Universite Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar,, Senegal
Scientific predictions have forecasted increasing economic losses by which farming households will be forced to consider new adaptation pathways to close the food gap and be income secure. Pro-poor adaptation planning decisions therefore must rely on location-specific details from systematic assessment of extreme climate indices to provide template for most suitable financial adaptation instruments. This paper examined critical loss point to water stress in maize production and risk-averse behaviour to extreme local climate in Central West Nigeria. Trends of extreme indices and bio-climatic assessment based on RClimDex for numerical weather predictions were carried out using a 3-decade time series daily observational climate data of the sub-humid region. The study reveals that the flowering and seed formation stage was identified as the most critical loss point when seed formation is a function of per unit soil water available for uptake. The sub-humid has a bi-modal rainfall pattern but faces longer dry spell with a fast disappearing mild climate measured by budyko evaporation of 80.1%. Radiation index of dryness of 1.394 confirms the region is rapidly becoming drier at an evaporation rate of 949 mm/year and rainfall deficit of 366 mm/year. Net primary production from rainfall is fast declining by 1634 g(DM)/m2/year. These conditions influenced by monthly rainfall uncertainties are associated with losses of standing crops because farmers are uncertain of rainfall probability distribution especially during most important vegetative stage. In a simulated warmer climate, an absolute dryness of months was observed compared with 4 dry months in a normal climate which explains triggers of food deficits and income losses. Positive coefficients of tropical nights (TR20), warm nights (TN90P) and warm days (TX90P), and the negative coefficient of cold days (TX10P) with time are significant at P<0.05. The increasing gradient of warm spell indicator (WSDI), the decreasing gradients of cold nights (TN10P) and cold days (TX10P) are added evidence of aridity arising from increasing rainfall deficits. This paper recommends that the region needs rainfall-based index microinsurance adaptation financial instruments capable of sharing covariate shocks with farmers within an incentive-based risk sharing framework.