Characterization Of Farm Management Practices And Improved Crop Varieties In Northern Nigeria: Application Of “Transect Walks” Method

  • IA Ojiako
  • VM Manyong
  • B Douthwaite
  • AE Ikpi
  • AS Olanweraju
Keywords: line transects, farm management practices, improved varieties, gicci,


The need to increase yields and farm income, stimulate agricultural growth, alleviate poverty and promote food security in rural communities necessitated the introduction of improved farm management practices and crops varieties in northern Nigeria. Like every well-intended innovation, the benefits of the improved systems could only be realized if farmers adopted and practiced them. This paper assesses the use status of the improved cropping patterns and farm management systems in the drier savanna area of northern Nigeria. It used data collected through line intersects sampling survey, an aspect of transect-walks methodology, involving farm fields in ten communities in the area. The results revealed that 82.6% of the surveyed fields were arable non-fadama fields as against 6.8% fallow and 4.7% settlement fields. Less than one percent of surveyed fields were arable fadama and community reserved fields while 1.7% was woodland. The modern farm management practices introduced into the area have not been fully adopted by farmers. “Gicci”, a traditional cropping pattern, was very common having been observed in 38.7% of the 1001 farm fields surveyed. Sole cropping (30.9%) and relay (14.9%) were second and third commonly practiced farm management practices. Of improved crops\' varieties, maize was the most widely adopted, appearing in 11.9% of the fields as first crop, and in 26.1% as the first four crops. Improved cowpea and soybean varieties were observed as the first four crops in 8.5% and 4.5% of the surveyed fields respectively. In general, the study found that the proportion of the communities that devoted up to 50% of the observed maize fields to the improved maize was 30% while the proportion that devoted up to 50% to improved cowpea and soybean was only 20%.The study identified the need for intensified extension services, training and enlightenment programmes as ways for promoting the use of improved farming technologies to realize their full benefits.

Keywords: line transects, farm management practices, improved varieties, gicci, drier savanna, Nigeria

Global Approaches to Extension Practice Vol. 4 (1) 2008: pp. 20-33

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eISSN: 0794-1005