Economics of soil conservation practices among food crop farmers in the rainforest zone of Abia State, Nigeria
AbstractThe study was aimed at determining the status of soil conservation practices and the associated cost and benefits among food crop farmers in the rainforest zone of Abia State. The study was conducted in the three agricultural zones of the state. Multi-stage stratified random sampling technique was adopted in choosing 120 food crop farmers for the study. The first stage sampling involved the selection of two local Government Areas (LGAs) from each agricultural zone. The second stage involved the selection of four farming communities from each LGA making a total of 24 communities/villages. Finally, in each community a list of farm households were compiled and 5 farmers were randomly selected from each community. Data were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics and net return analysis. Results shows that the predominant reasons while farmers invest in soil conservation practices are to ensure immediate monetary gains and to ensure medium-term continuity of yields. It further shows that farmers invest on the average N12,815 on soil conservation practice and N4,560 per hectare in a cropping season. The farmers invest 34 percent of the amount generated as profit in soil fertility improvement and maintenance of short/medium term productivity of soils. The study recommends that farmers should be encouraged to invest more in structural and agronomic soil conservation practices along side soil productivity maintenance measure.
International Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development Vol. 7(2) 2006: 1-6