Effects of Land Degradation on Agriculture in Anambra State: Issue for Agricultural Extension Policy
AbstractThe study examined the effects of land degradation on agriculture in Anambra state. Two Local Government Areas were purposively selected from the state while a town community was purposively selected from each of the Local Government Areas. Proportionate sampling technique was used to select 50% of the villages in each town and a total of 112 respondents were used for the study. Frequency, percentage and mean score were used for data analysis. Some findings of the study were: erosion (M=2.50), excessive use of inorganic manure and agrochemicals (M=2.45) and construction of roads and houses (M=2.42), were serious causes of land degradation in the area. High cost of input in farming (M=2.52) and rural urban migration were major effects of land degradation in the area. Evidences of the effects of land degradation in the area were: estimated mean monthly income dropped from N35,000 in 2005 to N15,000 in 2009. Mean farm size decreased from 1.5 hectare in 2005 to 0.75 hectare in 2009. Percentage of respondents rearing goat dropped from 80.4% to 41.1% while percentage of respondents growing cassava dropped from 100% to 80.4% within these years. Majority of the respondents pointed out aforestation (77.7%), controlled grazing (75.9%) as strategies they use to prevent land degradation in the area. They sourced information on land management and conservation practices from town criers (M=2.52) and radio (M=2.35).The study enumerated the need to include land management and conservation practices into agricultural extension programme (ADP) so that their clientele( farmers) can be equipped and involved practically in conservation/management of land for improved agricultural output and better future.
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