Adoption of different weed management techniques among cocoa farmers in Akamkpa Local Government Area, Cross River State, Nigeria
The study assessed weed management techniques among cocoa farmers in Akamkpa Local Government Area, Cross River State, Nigeria. Specifically, the objectives of the study were to assess the socio-economic characteristics of respondents in the study area; identify major weeds affecting cocoa farms, identify major techniques of weed management; ascertain the various indigenous weed management techniques employed by cocoa farmers in the study area. A random sampling technique was adopted in the selection of 120 respondents for the study. Also, descriptive statistics such as frequency counts, means and percentages, as well as inferential statistics such as chisquare model were used for analysis of the study objectives and the testing of study hypothesis respectively. Results of the study revealed that (41.70%) had no formal education, (37.50%) were aged above 50 years, (58.30%) were married with children. Results of cocoa weeds predominant in the study area revealed that; Chromolaena odorata, Ageratim conyzoides, Pennisetum purpureum and Mimosa pudica were the major weeds that interfered with the cocoa crops in the study area at the percentage of (82.50%), (74.20%), (63.30%) and (48.30%) respectively. The results also showed that integrated weed management techniques were mostly used by cocoa farmers, but that indigenous weed management techniques such as slashing of weeds with machetes (83.30%), hoe weeding (75.00%) and hand pulling or hand rouging (73.30%) were also utilized by cocoa farmers for weed control in the study area. The study concluded that majority of the respondents were relatively young with very little or no formal education, limited access to large farmlands for cocoa production, earned less than N100,000 per annum from cocoa sales. The study, therefore, recommended that extension services be provided to the cocoa farmers to facilitate training and education on basic scientific weed and pest management techniques; that the land tenure system of 1978 be reviewed to allow farmers access to large hectares of arable land for cocoa farming.
Keywords: Weed Management, Techniques, Cocoa, Farmers, Akamkpa