Farmers Perception of Practices in Crop Production in Relation to Soil Health in Sapele Delta State
Keywords:Soil Management, Soil Health, Environmental Sustainability, Soil Fertility, Crop Productivity
This study investigated farmers’ perceptions of practices in crop production in relation to soil health in Sapele, Delta State. The results obtained from demographics show that most of the farmers were experienced men and women. In terms of farming experience, they were highly exposed. However, only a few of them had attained tertiary education, which explains their limited exposure to soil management practices and their effects. The study revealed that most crops, such as maize, had a growing cycle of 0-6 months. Cassava, on the other hand, took 12 months to reach full maturity and was predominantly cultivated on 2.5-5 acres of land owned by individual farmers. Mixed cropping was practiced because it allowed farmers to cultivate a variety of plants and crops. The climate, temperature, and vegetation of the Songhai community were conducive to planting. Regarding farming and soil fertility, many farmers relied on bush fallowing as their primary source of income. Weeds and other agents that reduce productivity and profitability were mainly controlled through mechanical methods, traps, and introducing biological pest enemies. To improve crop yield and soil health, organic manure, especially from poultry droppings, was the most used due to its availability and low cost. Farmers understood the importance of good soil health management practices and were open to adopting new methods, such as microbial inputs, to enhance soil health and crop yield. The study suggests that additional research is needed to identify measures farmers are likely to adopt to protect publicly owned natural resources. Furthermore, the government should encourage the development of general guidelines for obtaining indicators and their use to monitor improvements in soil health.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Godspower Oke Omokaro, Precious Taye Biokoro, Ikioukenigha Michael
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