Diversity And Sustainability Of Small – Scale Farming In Cross River State: A Case Of Edim Otop Community – Calabar Urban
The paper examines the diversity and sustainability attributes of crops grown by small – scale farmers in Calabar Urban of Cross River State. It has as its objectives, the identification of the structure of agricultural system in Calabar- Urban, the determination of the types and diversity of crops grown by the farmers, the extent of cultivation, as well as the social and cultural background of the growers in the study area. Also the socio-economic importance of the mostly cultivated crops and the spatial context of the growers were determined. A suite of methodologies of data collection and analysis were employed to achieve the various objectives, thus Participatory Appraisal (PA) techniques such as Semi-structured Interviews (SSI) involving checklist and seasonality calendars were adopted. Also maps and ortho-photographs were used to determine the spatial attributes and historical shifts in agricultural enterprise. Focus was only on selected farmers of both sexes that were purposively selected to represent other farmers in the study area. Other descriptive statistics and computations were also employed as appropriate to give insight to the data obtained from field. Results show home/market gardening predominating the study area. Vegetable crops are largely cultivated here and they provide immediate consumption and income needs to the people thereby contributing to the sustainability of small-scale farming in the city. An emerging spatial concentration of agricultural operations was observed in the eastern flank due to developmental activities in the western flank. The analyses suggest that socio-cultural/economic considerations are critical in assessing the diversity of crops grown.
Keywords: Diversity, Sustainability, Small-scale farmers, Calabar – Urban
Global Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 7 (1) 2008: pp. 9-16