ECONOMIC STUDY OF FARMLAND EROSION CONTROL PRACTICES IN ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT
An economic analysis of farmland erosion control practices was conducted in Enugu State, southeastern Nigeria. The study aimed at identifying and describing the erosion control practices applied by the farmers, determining the net-benefit of erosion control practices, determining the socio-economic factors affecting the farmers’ use of a particular erosion control practice and identifying from the farmers perspective the possible causes and extent of cause of erosion on the farmland as well as making recommendations based on the findings. An interview schedule and structured questionnaire were used to elicit primary data from 168 farmers, randomly selected from the three agricultural zones of the state. Analysis of the data were done using multinomial logit model, partial budget analysis Duncan’s Multiple range test and descriptive statistics. Four erosion control practices were used by the farmers: Multiple cropping, as indicated by 41% of the respondents, Construction of Bonds, 20%, Ridging across the slope, 18% and Cover cropping, as indicated by 21% of the respondents. The Partial budget analysis showed the net-benefits of each of these erosion control practice as N393, 953.88k for Multiple cropping, N26, 115.30k for Construction of Bonds, N33, 741.66k for Ridging Across the slope and N891.10k for Cover cropping. 7.36 (Multiple cropping), 1.59 (Construction of bonds), 1.14 (Ridging across the slope) and 1.10 (Cover cropping) were shown as the profitability index for the erosion control practices. Duncan’s comparison test showed that there was statistically significant difference in the means of net-benefits of erosion control practices at 5%. The Multinomial logit Regression analysis indicated a seemingly low explanatory powers of the factor as reflected by Pseudo- R2 of 0.2449, but this is not uncommon in cross sectional analysis. The overall goodness of fit as reflected by prob>Chi2 was however good (<0.0000). The age of the farmers negatively and significantly affected the farmer's probability of using Cover cropping at 1% level of probability, all in comparism with Construction of bonds. Household size positively and significantly affected the farmers probability of using Multiple cropping and making ridges across the slope at 1% probability level. The Likert rating scale technique showed six very serious causes of erosion on the farmlands. These were Rainwater (mean = 2.42), Deforestation (mean = 2.26), Soil type (mean =2.49), Slope of the farm (mean =2.37), Poor road construction (mean =2.35), Indiscrimate house construction (mean =2.16). It also indicates two serious causes of erosion which include; Population density (mean =1.99) and Poor farming system (mean =2.01). Others such as Quarrying of sand (mean =1.64), Crops that attracts human traffic (mean =1.42), gods (mean =1.16), Overgrazing (mean =1.74), and Cattle hooves were shown as not serious causes of erosion by the Likert rating.

It is therefore recommended that government should encourage farmers with incentives to cope with the challenges of erosion for a sustainable Agriculture and Environment.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1      Background of the Study
A dramatic acceleration in population growth has taken place in sub-Saharan Africa since the 1960s (World Bank, 2006). The increasing demand to feed this growing population has lead to resource use intensification (Junge, Birte, Abaidoo. Chikoye ,D. Alabi ,T. and Stahrand Karl,(2006). and Non- adaptable land use practices which lead to soil degradation (Hudson, 1995). In sub-Saharan Africa, soil degradation has already become the most critical environmental problem (Mbagwu,Lal, and Scott,(1984) Eswaran ,,Lal and Reich,( 2001). Soil erosion is one manifestation of soil degrading processes that results in reduced soil quality and productivity (Akamigbo, 2001, Morgan, 1995, Lal, 2001). There is an urgent need to combat the accelerating trend of soil degradation, to maintain soil productivity and to contribute to the food security of current and future generations (UNEP, 1997).


Ecological disasters rank high among factors which encourage inefficient utilization of resources in Nigeria and limit the country’s development potential. They occur in various forms but typically include droughts, soil and wind erosion, flooding, oil pollution and bush fires. Soil erosion is one of the most important physical problems affecting our development in this part of the world today. Apart from the fact that it constitutes a menace to the environment and its destruction of our infrastructures-high ways, big structures etc, it creates a major problem in our agricultural soils, thereby interfering seriously with the mass food production campaign. We cannot afford to over-look these problems created on our soils by soil erosion because there is no real evidence that we may some day detach our lives from the soils. It is the soils that sustain us because soils are the foundation of our worldly goods-a basic wealth upon which our existence as inhabitants of the earth depends (Akamigbo 1987).

The web definition of erosion says it is the wearing away of the earth’s surface by running water, wind, ice, or other geological agents, processes, including weathering, dissolution. Akamigbo (1988) defined erosion as a systematic removal of soil, including plant nutrients, from the land surface by the various agents of denudation. According Ofomata (1988), soil erosion can be regarded as merely a geomorphologic process, whereby the surface layer of weathering rock is loosened and carried away by wind or running water and a lower horizon in the soil is exposed.

Soil erosion occurs in several parts of Nigeria under different geological, climatic, and soil conditions. The degree of occurrence varies considerably from one part of the country to the other. Soil erosion occurs all over southeastern Nigeria. The incidence of soil erosion in southeastern Nigeria especially Enugu state is not new, as it has formed a subject for serious consideration since the beginning of this century. For instance, the Udi forest Reserve was created in 1922, followed by an Anti-Erosion plantation, also at Udi, in 1928 (Sykes, 1940), all aimed at combating the nefarious effects of soil erosion as highlighted by the general review of the state of soil erosion in Nigeria by late Sir. Dudley stamp in 1938. Stamp’s review was followed by the special study of the phenomenon by Grove (1951) in part of former Eastern Nigeria as well as by Ofomata in some greater detail in parts of southeastern Nigeria (Ofomata, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1973, 1980, 1981a, 1981b, 1981c, 1982, 1984, 1985a, 1985b and Stone, 1996). Soil erosion is a major limitation to sustainable production in most farmland of Africa (Lal, 1995) in general and southeastern Nigeria (Enugu State) in particular. It ranks as one of.....

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Item Type: Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 126 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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