An assessment of land suitability for rice cultivation in Dobi, Gwagwalada Area Council, FCT – Nigeria
AbstractThis study examined the suitability of the soil in Dobi, Gwagwalada Area Council, FCT, Nigeria for rice cultivation. Soil samples were collected from the plot using systematic sampling procedure, at two standard depths of 0-15cm (top soil) and 16-30cm (sub soil). Standard procedures as
applied to tropical soils were followed in analyzing the soil samples while the data obtained were statistically analysed. Results obtained were compared with the standard land quality requirements for rice cultivation in Southern Guinea Savannah. The soil parameters varied considerably but in general it was observed that, the high pH (6.73 for top soil and 6.74 for
subsoil as against the normal range of 3.1-5.3) is not favourable for rice cultivation. The level of organic carbon (0.89 for topsoil and 0.81 for subsoil), total nitrogen (0.05 both for top and subsoil) available phosphorus (13.35 for topsoil and13.00 for subsoil) cation exchange capacity (7.14 for topsoil and 6.99 for subsoil) in the soil is favourable for cultivation of rice. Furthermore, the calcium content (3.14 for topsoil and 3.01 for subsoil) in the soil is high which can be traced to the high soil pH which limits plant growth. Similarly, the magnesium level(2.06 for topsoil and 2.02 for subsoil) is high and as a base element, it limits rice yield. A parameter is considred high based on Olaleye, et al (2002)’s suitability evaluation for rice cultivation in Nigeria. The study recommended that for sustaining future agricultural productivity, there is need for detailed
suitability assessment and land evaluation, also, a high dosage of NKP fertilizer application is encouraged and that salt free irrigation water can be applied to leach down the level of soil pH which will benefit both government and farmers for sustainable agricultural productivity.