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Soil sustainability and indigenous soil management practices among food crop farmers in Ogun State, Nigeria

A.B. Aromolaran
A.A. Soretire
S.A. Aromolaran
O.S. Enilolobo


It has been said that the greatest threat to sustaining agricultural productivity in Nigerian farming communities is the decline in soil productivity. As a result of this a number of programmes and policies aimed at increasing the interest of Nigerian farmers in long term soil conservation practices have been mounted in the past three decades by Nigerian governments. Evidence has however shown that most farmers have continued to shun both the indigenous and non-indigenous long-term conservation practices in favour of shorter term conservation practices. The study reported in this paper was an attempt to identify, describe and analyse the current soil management practices among food crop farmers in Ogun state, Nigeria, (with some emphasis on the indigenous practices) vs-a-vis the societal goal of long term sustainability of the soil. The study utilized a sample of 394 farmers randomly selected from the four agricultural zones in Ogun state. The results showed that fertilizer use (a non-indigenous method) was most prevalent practice it the area. This was closely followed by minimum tillage (indigenous), bush fallow (indigenous) and zero tillage (indigenous). Furthermore, a number of indigenous methods such as shifting cultivation, ridging across the slope, and manure/plant residue management which help the long term sustenance of the soil have become very unpopular among the farmers. Also, long-term soil conservation practices which are not indigenous to the area such as crop rotation, ally cropping are presently very unpopular among the farmers.

[JEXT Vol.2(1) 2001: 102-116]

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eISSN: 1595-5125