Appraisal of Taungya Farming as a Sustainable Land-Use Option in Vandeikya Local Government of Benue State, Nigeria

  • SIN Agera
  • AO Adegeye
  • SO Jimoh
Keywords: Appraisal, Taungya, Sustainable land-use, Vandeikya

Abstract

This study appraises taungya farming as a sustainable land -use option in Vandeikya Local Government (VLG) forest estates, Variations in the yield of agricultural crops over time (years), incidences of annual forest fires, forest offences as well as changes in forest area between 1955 and 2000 were assessed. Six out of 12 council wards in VLG were randomly selected for the survey through multi-stage random sampling. A total of 200 farmer respondents were sampled out of a taungya farmer population of 562 in the selected wards. All the 16 members of staff of the VLG forestry service were interviewed. The two categories of respondents were then interviewed using the same type of semi-structured questionnaire. This was to check and corroborate the responses of both groups of respondents. Data collected was subjected to descriptive statistics (like percentages) and inferential statistics [such as analysis of variances (ANOVA)]. The mean yields of yam, cassava, sweet potatoes, rice, maize, groundnuts, soybeans, guinea corn, beans, pepper and melon on taungya plots ranged from 306.67kg/ha for melon to 1698.33kg/ha for cassava. The corresponding yields of melon and cassava on non-taungya plots were 250.00kg/ha and 1372.67kg/ha, respectively. Crop yields were significantly higher on most taungya plots except that of melon (p>0.05).The total forest area declined from 312.9ha in1995 to 83.5ha in 2000. Reforestation with indigenous tree species, establishment of seed and clonal banks, adoption of socially and ecologically acceptable taungya practices, review of land tenure laws and sensitization of farmers on sustainable taungya practices are advocated.
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print ISSN: 2141-1778