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Geospatial analysis of Maize yield vulnerability to climate change in Nigeria

  • Olanrewaju LawalEmail author
  • M. Olufemi Adesope


The fifth assessment report (AR5) predicted that land temperatures would rise faster over Africa than other global averages while changes in rainfall are uncertain across Sub-Saharan Africa. These portend water availability challenges with direct impacts on agricultural production. Existing studies on yield vulnerability in Nigeria are mostly at a national scale, which is not adequate for local decision making. This study provides a spatially explicit model of Maize yield vulnerabilities across the growing areas (GA). Thereby, turning available data into actionable information to support development actions. Yield vulnerability index was constructed as a relationship among exposure, yield sensitivity and adaptive capacity. Exposure was computed as the ratio between long and short-term climatic factors. Yield sensitivities were expressed as the ratio between expected and actual yield. Adaptive capacity was captured using a combination of socio-economic proxies. The result shows that Maize yields were vulnerable to climate variability across most of the GAs. Exposure values indicate a very high level of climate variability with the northern region more exposed. Yield sensitivity ranges between ranges 0.47 and 0.95, and highest along the northern extremes, moderate sensitivities were observed across large tracts of the north-west, northeast, south-east and south–south geopolitical regions. Adaptive capacity is highly variable ranging between 0.27 and 1. Yield vulnerability ranges between 0.46 and 1.51. The general assumption of a north–south divide for yield vulnerability was invalidated. Vulnerability is more disparate beyond latitudinal differences. The model presented, creates a framework to support targeted response, and opportunity for building resilience to climate change impact for crop yield.


Maize yield Yield vulnerability Adaptive capacity Climate change Yield sensitivity 



The authors did not receive any funding from any organisation/institution for this study (study was not funded by any grant).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies involving animals performed by any of the authors.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies involving human participants performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental Management, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of Port HarcourtPort HarcourtNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Agriculture Economics and Extension, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of Port HarcourtPort HarcourtNigeria

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