Assessment of Smallholder Farmers’ Perception of Effects of Land Degradation Risks on Agricultural Productivity in Jeldu District in West Shewa Zone, Oromia, Ethiopia. (Published)
Accelerated land degradation has become the major threat to rural livelihoods in the country in general and to the study in particular. The main objective of this study was to assess the perceptions of farmers’ towards the effects of land degradation risks on agricultural productivity decline associated with soil erosion and fertility loss. The study followed a multistage sampling procedure to select sample respondent households. The primary data were collected by using Semi-Structured Interview Schedule key informant interview, FGDs and field observation. Descriptive statistics and econometric methods were used for data analysis. Descriptive results show that of the total sampled households, 57% was perceived the severity and its effect on agricultural land productivity. The result of the study reveals that majority of the farmers perceived and aware of as land degradation is already happening, its causes, indicators and consequences in general. The following indicators of soil erosion and fertility loss were generally perceived and observed by farmers’ in the study area: gullies formations, soil accumulation around clumps of vegetation, soil deposits on gentle slopes, exposed roots, muddy water, sedimentation in streams and rivers, change in vegetation species, increased runoff, and reduced rooting depth. The direct human activities which were perceived to be causing land degradation in the study area include; deforestation, clearing of vegetation, overgrazing, steep slope cultivation, continuous cropping and improper fertilizer uses. Farmers perceived effects of land degradation experienced in the study area includes decline in crop yields, reduced responses to inputs, reduced productivity of irrigated land, lower and less reliable food supplies and increased labour requirements. The regression model was employed to identify the determinants of farmers’ perception of the severity and its effects on land productivity. Their possibility of perceiving its effect on agricultural land productivity from slight to severe was primarily determined by institutional and demographic factors as well as weakly by biophysical factors. Farmers who perceive their land as fast deteriorating and producing less than desired, tend to adopt good land management practices. On the other hand, farmers who perceive their soils to be fertile tend to have low adoption of conservation practices. In order to overcome this land degradation and its consequent effects, the study recommended a need for the government to enforce effective policies to control and prevent land degradation and these policies should be community inclusive /participatory founded up on indigenous and age-honored knowledge and tradition of agricultural land management practices. The study also recommended a significant investment to be made by the government through promotion of land use systems that provide permanent vegetative cover to protect the soil, increase fertility and optimize water penetration.
Accessibility and Relevance of Extension Methods and Information and Communication Technologies among Farmers in Mauritius (Published)
The study aims to address the accessibility and relevance of different extension methods and information and communications technology (ICT) tools among farmers in Mauritius. A quota sample of 100 farmers was interviewed across the four extension zones of the island. The most efficient extension methods of farmers were firstly visits by extension officers (25.2%), followed by phone calls (19.8%) and video films (13.1%). The respondents claimed that training, short message service (sms), exhibitions and mass media were useful in providing beneficial information to them. Mobile phones were the main ICT device used by farmers (65%) to retrieve agricultural information. The access of smartphone (p= 0.009) and computer (p=0.001) was significantly associated with income rate. ICT needs to be integrated to agriculture to improve the livelihood of farmers. Extension methods such as visits, training and exhibitions should be intensified to allow accessibility to useful information. These extension methods should be reinforced to enhance agricultural productivity.
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF RICE PRODUCTIVITY OF FARMERS ON DIFFERENT LAND TENURE SYSTEMS IN IMO STATE (Published)
This study compared and analysed the rice productivity of farmers on different land tenure systems in Ihitte/Uboma Local Government Area. A multistage sampling technique was used to select 50 rice farmers for the study. Data were collected with a well structured questionnaire and were analysed using descriptive statistics, ordinary least squares multiple regression techniques, net farm income model, total factor productivity and the Z- test statistics. The result showed that 48% of the respondents practised the individual land tenure system. Their major method of land acquisition is through communal followed by inheritance. The average land size cultivated on was 1.98ha.The multiple regression analysis showed that factors such as sex, farming experience, method of land acquisition, annual off farm income and lease price of rice farmers influenced their landholding size. The net returns per hectare of rice farmers on communal and individual land tenure system were N8, 721.25 and N17, 327.91 respectively. The mean of the total factor productivity computed for communal and individual land tenure systems were 1.89 and 3.06 respectively. This implies that there was statistically significant difference between the productivities of rice farmers on the different land tenure systems in the study area. It is therefore concluded that with increased capital, improved varieties/technology and skilled labour, the level of profit would increase.
ENTREPRENEURIAL AGRICULTURE FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT. A CASE STUDY OF DOTITO IRRIGATION SCHEME, MT DARWIN (Review Completed - Accepted)
Agriculture is viewed as the main economic activity which contributes to the overall creation of wealth in the country. This then calls for both small scale and large scale farmers to practice entrepreneurial agriculture. However, this study examined the relationship between entrepreneurial agriculture and human development in the context of public policy. Human development has emerged as the main indicator of the country’s ability to promote human rights. Therefore, the study documented the relationships that exist between entrepreneurial agriculture and human development .Qualitative methodology was employed in the collection and analysis of data. The study was enforced by Hitt et al’s (2003) strategic entrepreneurship model