Determinants of agricultural land use intensity among small scale arable crop farmers in Oruk Anam Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
The study identifies drivers of agricultural land intensity and analyzed farmers‘ perceived constraints to sustainable land management in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Cross sectional data were collected from sampled arable crop farmers using structured questionnaire. Descriptive tools and regression analysis were employed to analyze the research objectives. Herfindhal index proxies agricultural land intensification of farmers. An average Herfindhal index of 0.4174 was obtained among farmers, implying that, the frequency of land use among farmers was moderate, but the intensity of cropping (number of crops planted per season) continuously increase. The empirical results revealed that, non-farm income, amount spent on labour, educational level of farmers, farming experience, farm size and poverty level of farmers were negative drivers of agricultural land use intensity among small scale arable crop farmers in the region. On the contrary, increase in fertilizer use, household size and farm output affected land use intensity positively. In addition, majority of farmers agreed that, land fragmentation, theft, prevalence of pests and diseases and poor cultivars of crops were the major environmental constraints militating against sustainable use of agricultural land by small scale arable crop farmers in the region. Similarly, majority of the farmers upheld that, high cost of farm inputs, transportation cost, and processing cost as well as fertilizer and manure costs were serious economic constraints to sustainable land use in the study area. Based on the findings, it is recommended that, governments of the region should intensify effort to provide adequate and accessible land through development of green fields and marginal lands in order to reduce unnecessary pressure on land. Fertilizer subsidy programme for small scale famers in the region is absolutely necessary if sustainable land use intensity is envisaged by government of the region.
Key words: land use, arable crop, crop intensity and farmers