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Farmers’ land management practices and status of agricultural land in the Jos Plateau, Nigeria

Thapa, G.B. and Yila, Othniel M. (2012) Farmers’ land management practices and status of agricultural land in the Jos Plateau, Nigeria. Land Degradation & Development, 23 (3). pp. 263-277. ISSN 1085-3278

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A wide range of land management practices, including application of fertilizers, contour-plowing, stone bunds, mulching and agroforestry, have been adopted by farmers in the Jos Plateau to control degradation. This study examined the relative popularity of 13 land management practices based on mainly qualitative primary information collected through a questionnaire survey of 150 farm households and group discussions held during May to August 2007. The results of the analysis revealed four practices, namely, application of chemical fertilizers and farm yard manure, intercropping and crop rotation were highly popular. These practices generally need little technical skills, show positive short-term benefits and short establishment time, suggesting that the benefits of increased productivity can be obtained quite quickly. Practices like agroforestry, mulching, legume cultivation and crop residue barriers were moderately popular as they take time, sometimes up to 3 years, before some benefits could be manifested. For farmers dependent on the farm income without any financial back-up, this is too long as many do not have the economic capital to apply a practice that will only start showing benefits after a few years. The least popular practices were stone and earthen bunds, grass strips, alley cropping and contour-plowing. These prove to be more labour intensive, and with dwindling labour force in the area, the adoption trend favours other practices requiring relative less labour. Farmers could not control land degradation effectively, despite their efforts made to manage land. Broad policy recommendations are made in line with findings of the analysis.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Land Management and Development
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2013 03:17
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2017 00:55

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