Soil conservation practices among Arable Crop Farmers In Enugu – North Agricultural Zone, Nigeria: Implications for Climate Change
The study examined soil conservation practices used by arable crop farmers in Enugu – North agricultural zone of Enugu State. One hundred and twenty randomly selected arable crop farmers were interviewed. Data were analysed by use of percentage and mean score. The study revealed that respondents used organic manure (87.5%), planting of cover crops (87.5%), crop rotation (86.7%), mulching (85.8%), inorganic manure (76.7%), contour bonds(75.8%), liming (61.7%), and terracing (60.8%) for soil conservation in the zone. However, organic manure (M= 3.32), use of inorganic manure (M= 3.08), crop rotation(M=2.86), and mulching ( M=2.82) were most preferred by the respondents The major reasons indicated for use of most soil conservation practices included enhanced productivity, high quality products, long term nutrient value and others. While most of the preferred conservation practices hold great potential for increased production, income for farmers and enhanced food security for the nation, some are implicated as causes of climate change. The more environment friendly and climate change sensitive practices are less popular among the farmers. The paper recommends concerted efforts to promote among farmers the conservation practices that aid mitigation and adaptation to climate change and at the same time enhance production. Researches and a corresponding creation of awareness on the most efficient and environmentally safe way of using practices that contribute to climate change should be intensified, since the pressure on ensuring food security remains a formidable challenge in the nation.
Key words: soil conservation, climate change, farmer, potential, threat.