Climate change induced occupational stress and reported morbidity among cocoa farmers in South-Western Nigeria

Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Mafikeng Campus, North-West University, Mmabatho, South Africa
Ann Agric Environ Med 2015;22(2):357–361
Introduction and objective. Climate change is one of the major development hurdles in many developing countries. The health outcome of farm households are related to climate change, which is related to several external and internal health-related issues, such as management of occupational stressors. This study seeks, inter alia, to determine the climate related occupational stress and factors influencing reported sick times among cocoa farmers. Material and Method. Data were collected from selected cocoa farmers in South-Western Nigeria. Descriptive statistics and Negative Binomial regression were used for data analyses. Results. The results showed that cocoa farmers were ageing, and that the majority had cultivating cocoa for most of their years of farming. Cocoa was the primary crop for the majority of the farmers, while 92.00% of the farmers in Osun state owned the cultivated cocoa farms. The forms of reported climate change induced occupational stresses were increase in pest infestation (74.5% in Ekiti state), difficulties in weed control (82.1% in Ekiti state), missing regular times scheduled for spraying cocoa pods (45.7% in Ondo state), inability to spray cocoa effectively (58.5% in Ondo state), and reduction in cocoa yield (71.7% in Ekiti state). The Negative Binomial regression results showed that the age of farmers (0.0103), their education (-0.0226), years of cocoa farming (-0.0112), malaria infection (0.4901), missed spraying (0.5061), re-spraying of cocoa (0.2630), reduction in cocoa yield (0.20154), contact with extension (0.2411) and residence in Ondo state (-0.2311) were statistically significant (p<0.05). Conclusion. Climate change influences the farm operations of cocoa farmers with resultant occupational stresses. Efforts to assist cocoa farmers should include, among others, provision of weather forecasts and some form of insurance.