Soil Conservation and Water–Resources Management Techniques used by Small- Scale Rice Farmers in Ebonyi State, Nigeria
AbstractThe study assessed s soil conservation and water – resources management techniques among small- scale rice farmers in Ebonyi State. A sample of 130 respondents generated via multi- stage, purposive and simple random methods were used. Data were generated through questionnaire and interview schedule and analysed using percentage and mean. Results, showed the indigenous methods for soil and water- resources management used by the rice farmers to include: construction of basin and flow walls (= 92.3%), construction of dikes (= 84.6%), ration- harvesting (= 73%), compost- manuring (= 69%) and were ranked from 1st position to 5th position .Other indigenous methods used include: use of IPM (= 65.4%), shifting cultivation and planting of trees (= 61.5%) and crop rotation(= 57.7%) respectively were ranked from 7th position to 10th position respectively. Mixed cropping (= 50.0%) ranked 11th. Results on level of use of Agronomical Best Environmental Management Practices (ABEMPs) through physical measures indicated that construction of bund- lines (= 3.23) and farm- drainage (= 3.00) were at high level of use, while levelling (= 2.96), dikes (= 2.77), stone- lines (= 2.39), terracing (= 2.15) were at moderate level of use and plastic mulching (= 1.85) was at low level of use. Equally, for biological measures mixed- cropping (= 3.08) was at high level of use, while crop- rotation (= 2.80), planting of trees (= 2.62) and fallow- cover (= 2.23) were at moderate level of use and incorporation of residues (= 1.92) was at low level of use. On the Best Agronomic Practice measures, results showed conservation tillage and liming (= 3.00) were respectively at high level of use, while mount- making / ridging (= 2.92), application of compost manure (= 2.62), use of IPM (2.62) and application of cow dung and poultry droppings (= 2.50) were at moderate level of use, while irrigation (= 1.77) and zero tillage (= 1.23) were at low level of use respectively. The indigenous and ABEMPs methods are geared towards stable renewable resource use through sustainable (soil and water- resources) management techniques. There should be enhanced farmer–scientist research collaboration to develop soil and water- resource management techniques for more sustainable for rice production in the study area.
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