Tag Archives: Sustainable agriculture

Sustainable Agriculture as a Tool for Improving Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services within the Belepieni Catchment of the Upper East Region, Ghana (Published)

The immediate and long term effects of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa include desertification, land degradation and food insecurity. These effects are expected to worsen in the coming decades, with attendant consequences on ecosystems and biodiversity services. This research assessed the potential of sustainable agriculture as a means for restoring and improving upon the biological diversity and ecosystem services within the Belepieni catchment, a predominantly agricultural landscape. The study considered the current trend in terms of the main environmental parameters, the drivers of change and the opportunities for addressing the current situation within the catchment. Although population growth remains the major driver, several opportunities such as high labour force, access to extension services, availability of market for produce, and most importantly traditional knowledge on farming practices also exist. A management approach based on the Climate and Ecosystem Change Adaptation and Resilience framework is proposed for improving the ecological, socio-economic and engineering resilience of the catchment.

Keywords: Belepieni catchment, Sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystem function, climate resilience

Environmental Adult Education Programmes for Promotion of Sustainable Agricultural Methods/Practices among Crop Farmers in Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria: An Empirical Study (Published)

Unsustainable agricultural/farming methods/practices (such as slash-and-burn, felling of trees and shrubs and application of chemical fertilizers and insecticides) by crop farmers in the Southern Region of Nigeria are known to have been doing a lot of harm to the soil, the environment and even the health of the farmers themselves. The purpose of this study was to identify, through an empirical/participatory process, the unsustainable methods/practices mostly adopted by the farmers (with focus on those from Abak and Etinan Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Akwa Ibom State), as well as the Environmental Adult Education (EAE) programmes that would make the farmers adopt sustainable methods/practices which would increase their occupational outputs as well as protect their environment and personal health. Four Research Questions and one Null Hypothesis guided the study. 222 (40%) of the 554 registered crop farmers in the two LGAs were selected for the study through proportionate random sampling. Percentages, means, standard deviation and the T-test were the statistical methods used to analyze the data obtained through a structured Questionnaire developed by the researchers. Based on the responses of the farmers, a number of EAE programmes were identified for achieving the purpose stated above. The researchers have strongly recommended implementation of the programmes as well as guidelines for effecting the implementation.

Keywords: Environmental Adult Education, Programme, Sustainable agriculture, Unsustainable, crop farming, farming methods

Strategic Media Advocacy in Enhancing Sustainable Economic Development through Active Youths’ Participation in Agriculture in Nigeria (Published)

Our aim in this paper was to propose the means of achieving sustainable agricultural development in Nigeria through strategic media advocacy and youths’ participation in order to promote Nigeria’s economic indices for enduring national growth. To achieve the purpose of this study, three hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Ex-post facto research design was adopted involving quantitative and qualitative methods for the study. A sample of one hundred and eighty youths across the eighteen local government areas of Cross River State were used for the quantitative study while three focus group discussion comprising different sizes in each of the three Senatorial Districts of Cross River State and in-depth interview with three key informants were held. The selection of the youths for the quantitative study was done through the Multistage sampling technique in the study area. While the purposive non-probability sampling technique was used to select members of the focus group discussion and in-dept interview. The instruments used for data collection were questionnaire, focus group discussion and in-depth interview with key informants. The instruments were validated by experts in social research in communication. The reliability estimate of the instruments was established using Cronbach Alpha with a coefficient of .79. The data was analysed using Pearson Moment Correlation Coefficient as well as descriptive and inferential statistics. Critical analytical technique was employed as an approach to the discussion. The theories of the Diffusion of innovations and Social Marketing served as theoretical framework. Findings revealed that there is a significant relationship between strategic media advocacy and youth participation in agriculture and subsequent sustainable economic development in Nigeria. The study also revealed that media advocacy has significant influence towards youth participation in agriculture in Nigeria. The study equally revealed that there are no significant challenges to effective youths’ participation in Agriculture where strategic media advocacy is employed.

Keywords: Strategic Media Advocacy, Sustainable Economy, Sustainable agriculture

Farmers’ Perception of Soil: Implications for Soil Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture in the UK (Published)

We identify UK farmers’ perception of soil, awareness of soil in terms of how they describe it, their awareness of its benefits other for than crop production, their familiarity with soil conservation, and their opinions on soil protection and the value of organic fertilizers. Data were collected with the aid of social media using both Twitter and electronic mail to distribute a survey link to farmers. UK yellow pages, Natural England directory and Twitter were used to search for farms. Data were analysed using SPSS version 22.0 statistical software and Wordle. Chi square was used to test for relationships between variables at 95% confidence level (p<0.05), while Phi and Cramer’s V were used to measure strength of association for significant relationships. Results showed that farmers’ describe soils in abstract, scientific, physical attribute and functional terms. Awareness of soil benefits other than crop production was significantly related to age, and farm ownership. Educational level was significantly related to familiarity with soil conservation, and opinion on whether soil should be protected like other natural resources. The implications of these results for soil conservation and sustainable agriculture are discussed and used as, the basis for policy recommendations.

Keywords: Anaerobic digestion (AD), Ethnopedology, Perception, Soil Conservation, Sustainable agriculture