: An in-depth understanding of the impact of vulnerability on livelihoods and food security is important in deploying effective adaptation actions. The Nigerian agricultural sector is dominated by rainfed and non-homogenous smallholder farming systems. A number of climate change risk studies have emerged in the last decade. However, little attention has been given to vulnerability assessments and the operationalization of vulnerability. To highlight this shortcoming, this study systematically reviewed climate-change-focused vulnerability assessments in the agricultural sector by evaluating (1) variation in climate variables in Nigeria over time; (2) the state of climate change vulnerability assessment in Nigerian agriculture; (3) the theoretical foundations, operationalization approaches, and frameworks of vulnerability assessments in Nigeria; (4) the methods currently used in vulnerability assessments; and (5) lessons learned from the vulnerability studies. We used a linear trend of climatic data spanning over a period of 56 years (1961–2016) obtained from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, along with a systematic review of literature to achieve the objectives. The analysis indicates a significant and positive correlation between temperature and time in all major agro-ecological zones. For precipitation, we found a non-significant correlation between precipitation in the Sahel, Sudan, and Guinea Savanna zones with time, while the other zones recorded positive but significant associations between precipitation and time. The systematic review findings indicate no clear progress in publications focused specifically on vulnerability assessments in the Nigerian agricultural sector. There has been progress recently in applying frameworks and methods. However, there are important issues that require addressing in vulnerability assessments, including low consideration for indigenous knowledge and experience, unclear operationalization of vulnerability, non-standardization of vulnerability measures, and inadequacy of current assessments supporting decision making.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited