Assessment of cassava-melon intercrop-based farm practices under climate change variation in Isiala-Mbano L.G.A, Imo State, Nigeria
The study assessed cassava-melon intercrop-based farm practices used by farmers under the climate change variations in Isiala-Mbano, L.G.A. of Imo State, Nigeria. Specific objectives achieved were; socioeconomic characteristics of the farmers, various farm practice options used by farmers during the period and constraints faced by farmers while using farm practice options were identified. Lastly effects of farm practices on cassavamelon intercrop-based farms were determined. 12 communities were selected from 28 communities in the study area and simple random sampling technique was used to select 5 farmers from each community giving 60 farmers. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression models. Results showed that majority of the farmers were female (62%) and married (58%). Farm practice options used by farmers include; change in planting and harvesting dates, early rainfall planting, fertilizer and organic manure application, mulching, change in tillage operations and use of irrigation. The result of regression showed R2 and F-statistics of 48.8% and 3.372 respectively. R2 value of (0.488) implied that 48.8% variability in the yield of cassava-melon was explained by farm practices adopted by the farmers in the study area. Use of improved varieties, late planting, quantity of organic manure used, and mulching were significant and positively influenced crop yields. Fertilizer application was significant but showed negative influence on yield. However, inadequate skills in using farm practice options, limited access to weather forecast and poor information access to climate change conditions were among the major constraints faced by the farmers. It is recommended that farmers should improve on the use of farm cultural practices such as mulching, application of organic manure and increase access to information on climate change variations in order to improve crop yield.
Keywords: Assessment, Farm practice, Cassava-melon, Intercrop, Climate change variations