Contributions of agroforestry practice in Ondo State, Nigeria, to environmental sustainability and sustainable agricultural production

Victor Ajibola Adekunle
2009 Afrika Focus  
Man is using more energy, land, water, and natural resources than ever before. Population increase also leads to increasing food insecurity. In view of this, the contributions of agroforestry (AF) to enhancing food security and environmental conservation were assessed. The study was carried out in Ondo state, Nigeria, situated in the tropical rainforest ecological zone. Data were collected with pre-tested questionnaires administered to 300 farmers -household heads, randomly selected from four
more » ... elected from four Local Government Areas (LGAs). Information was gathered on farmers' awareness of and involvement in AF systems, willingness to plant, retain or take care of trees planted, farm location and sizes, tree species commonly retained/planted on farmland, major causes of deforestation, extension education in AF and other information relevant to the study. Data were analyzed using a descriptive statistics and x 2 model. Results revealed that the primary occupation of the majority of the respondents (80%) is farming. Land is mainly obtained through lease from landowners (52%). This is followed by those who inherited land (26%). Very few respondents (6%) have their farms on government land through AF (Approved Taungya System). Most farmers (67%) were willing to plant, retain and take care of trees on their farmland to provide shade for crops, for edible fruits, timber and firewood, erosion and leaching control, biodiversity conservation, reduction of global warming, and increased crop yield. Average yearly crop yield (cassava and maize) from AF farms was 750 kg/ha against 630 kg/ha for non-AF farms. Agroforestry is a means ofincreasing food production and at the same time, it makes wood available to rural dwellers. However, there is a need to improve both formal and informal AF education among the rural communities for agroforestry to become more widely accepted by local populations.
doi:10.21825/af.v22i2.17994 fatcat:6tpasibmnbeahdc3n5qwlsedom