The study examined socio-economic characteristics of pastoralists, investigated perceived effects of climate change on grazing land, herd’s performance and changes in livelihood of the pastoralists. Through a multi-stage sampling technique, 140 pastoralists were randomly selected. Data were collected using interview scheduled and analyzed by percentages, frequency, tables and Chi square statistical tools. The result of the study showed that respondents were with an average age of 49.7 years. 10.8 and 5% of the pastoralists had primary and secondary education, respectively. Furthermore, 67.5% of the pastoralists strongly agreed that pattern of rainfall in recent time affects pasture availability while 47.5 and 52.5% reported a decline in milk production and an increase in herd mortality respectively. Pastoralists advanced diminishing land for cattle grazing, poor quality pasture, inadequate income and a decline in cattle productivity as reasons for diversifying into crop production and other enterprises. A significance relationship was established between herd’s milk production and factor of climate change (calculated x2 = 52.00, tabulated x2 = 7.8147, p≤0.00). It was concluded that climate change adversely affected livestock performance. Pastoralists should be encouraged through extension services to diversify production while livestock rearing is not compromised. This in turn will fast track Nigeria’s strive for self-sufficiency in food production and employment generation.
Key words: Irregular rainfall pattern, declining grazing land, low herd production, income, crop, other enterprises.
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