Determinants of soil management practices among small-holder farmers in Ekiti State, Nigeria
This study investigated the determinants of soil management practice options among crop-based farmers in Ekiti State, Nigeria. The study employed multi-stage random sampling technique to select 90 crop-based farmers from six communities across the three agricultural zones in the State. Data were collected with the used of structured questionnaire. The data collected were analysed by the use of descriptive statistics, multinomial logit model and factor analysis. The results obtained from the analyses showed that major causes of soil degradation in the study area include: increased deforestation or lumbering activities in the area, continuous cropping, short fallow period due to increased pressure on land, poor afforestation or tree planting practices of farmers and poor access to needed farm inputs such as fertilizers among others. The socio-economic attributes of the farmers that significantly (p≤0.01, p≤0.05) influenced their preference for soil management practice options include: gender of household head, education, income, farm size and number of extension visits. The challenges militating against effective soil management practices by farmers in the study area were farm inputs, finance, institutional challenge and environmental factor. The study therefore recommends socio-economic capacity building of crop-based farmers in effective conservation tillage operation, adoption of organic and inorganic farming, provision of required infrastructural facilities, education and institutional supports to the farmers for improved food production through sustainable and environmental friendly soil management measures.
Keywords: Soil degradation, soil management, crop production and challenges