RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CLIMATIC VARIABILITY AND WATER FOOTPRINT OF SUGARCANE AT DANGOTE SUGAR COMPANY NUMAN, NIGERIA
This study investigated the relationship between climatic variability and water footprint of sugarcane at Dangote Sugar Company (formerly Savannah Sugar Company) Numan, Nigeria. The objective of the study was to assess the level of the effect of climatic elements- rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, sunshine and wind speed, on sugarcane production. Three sets of data were required for the study, including climatic, soil and crop parameters. Soil and crop data were unavailable. However, CROPWAT model package of Food and Agricultural Organization contains these data for all ecological zones, study area inclusive. Thirty three years climatic data of the area were inputted into the model and in conjunction with the built-in soil and crop data used to model the relationship between climatic variability and water footprint of sugarcane. Furthermore, correlation and path analyses were later used to investigate the relationship between those elements using SPSS 22 and SPSS AMOS 21 statistical packages. Results reveal that there is an evidence of climate variability in the area. Blue water footprint (WFblue) value calculated as 172/m2/ton was found to be higher than Green water footprint (WFgreen) of 102m2/ton as well as global average of 57m2/ton, whereas the WFgreen (102m2/ton) was lower than the global average (139m2/ton). This is an indication that sugarcane production is most dependent on WFblue (irrigation). Generally, rainfall, temperature and relative humidity were found to be positively correlated with water footprint whereas sunshine and wind speed were negatively correlated. Overall, climatic factors contribute about 17%, with rainfall being most influential, to water footprint of sugarcane in the area. Despite little contribution of climatic factors to water footprint of sugarcane in the area, it is recommended that the company should institute a comprehensive water consumption scheme for the two water sources (rainfall and dam) to deal with the opposing impacts of climate variability, no matter how meager it may be.
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