Soil conservation practices among rural farmers in arable crop production in Omuma Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria
The study examined soil conservation practices in arable crop production among rural farmers in Omuma Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria. Data were collected with the use of a questionnaire and interview schedule. One hundred and twenty respondents were selected from six communities using the simple random sampling technique. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics such as the ordinary least square (OLS) analysis. Findings show that more than half (52.5%) were married and 37.5% had formal education. The mean age was 41 years. Types of soil conservative practices used were mulching (51.17%), bush fallowing (59.17), manure application (32.50%), planting indigenous crops (59.17), crop rotation (59.17%), agro-forestry (8.33%), cover cropping (32.50%), intercropping (59.17%), multicropping (58.33%) and shifting cultivation (55.00%), while mulching (x̄ = 75), bush fallowing (x̄ = 0.82), planting of indigenous plants (x̄ = 1.60), and crop rotation (x̄ = 1.58) were adopted. Benefits of soil conservation practices to arable crop farmers were improved soil structure (16.67%), protection of soil from erosion and nutrients loses (16.67%) among others. The major constraint to the use of soil conservation practices in arable crop production was unfavourable land tenure system (40.00%). The study concluded that some soil conservation practices are adopted and practiced by arable crop farmers in the study area. The study further recommends that rewards and planting materials should be given to arable crop farmers as incentives in motivating them to adopt soil coservation practices.
Keywords: soil conservation practices, arable crop, farmers