Constraints facing agroforestry practices among farmers in New Bussa, Nigeria
The study examined agroforestry practices and its constraints among selected farmers in New Bussa, Niger State, Nigeria. Data were collected using a well-structured questionnaire, personal interview and observations from the total of one hundred and twenty respondents. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data collected. Findings revealed that farming was male dominated with a mean age and family size of 41years and 10 persons respectively. More than half (69.2%) of the farmers were literate with mean years of experience in farming being 14years. The most common trees on the farmlands were Vitellaria paradoxa, Mangifera indica, Parkia biglobosa, Azadirachta indica, Afzelia africana, Detarium microcarpum and Vitex doniana. Majority of the farmers were aware (70.8%) of agroforestry practices mainly through conservation education (32.5%) and forest guards (20.0%) to conserve economic trees and improve farm produce. Medicinal herbs (98.3%), Source of income (81.7%) and Source of food (80.3%) were the major benefit accrued to farmers from agroforestry in the study area. Constraints to agroforestry practices in the study area included limited use of farm machineries (75%), poor access to credit facilities (70.8%), fast growing nature of trees (68.3%), Land tenure (65.8%), Marketing channel (62.5%) and increase in population (56.7%). The study thus, recommended that extension agents from public and non-governmental organizations should enlighten farmers more on agroforestry through workshops and community awareness campaign and assistance should be given to farmers in form of credit facilities, improved seeds or varieties, and soft loans for enhanced production.
Keywords: Agroforestry, Awareness, Benefits, Constraints, Conservation, Economic trees