Economic Analysis of Soil Conservation Practices among Crop Farmers in Enugu State, Nigeria.


 The broad objective of the study was to analyze the economics of soil conservation practices in Enugu State. This study employed multistage random sampling technique for selecting the respondents.

First stage involved simple random selection of one local government area from each of the three (3) agricultural zones.

Then three (3) farming communities were selected from each of the three selected local government areas.

This gave a total of nine (9) communities for the study. Secondly, ten (10) farm households were randomly selected from each of the three farming communities, making a total of ninety (90) farm households.

Well structured and pre- tested questionnaire, personal observation and focus group discussion were used for data collection.

Data were analyzed using descriptive statistical, multinomial logit model, partial budget and a composite benefit- cost simulation model.

The study showed that most of the farmers adopted more than one soil conservation practice.

The conservation practices adopted most by the farmers included; animal and green manure application (100% and 85.55% respectively), cover crop planting (70%), construction of erosion control structures (57.77%).

Multiple cropping (45.55%) and reduced tillage (40%), incorporation of crop residues ( 26.66%), mulching ( 23.33%), crop rotation ( 21.11%), fallowing ( 14.44%), across slope-cultivation (12.22%), planting of perennial grass barriers (11.11%) and vegetation planting (8.88%s).

Majority of the farmers were males (75.56%), the mean age of the farmers was forty six years, and about eighty seven percent (87%) of the farmers had a house hold size of six to ten persons.

The majority of the farmers (725%) used family labour, and 53.35% of the farmland was individually owned by the farmers.

An increase in farm size showed significant (P<0.05) increase in the application of green manure (z = 2.25) and crop rotation (z = 2.08).

Similarly, increase in house hold size showed a significant (P<0.05) increase in the construction of erosion control structures with a 2.54 magnitude of the z-value.

An increase in farm size and sex showed a significant (P<0.05) increase in the use of crop rotation (z = 2.31 and 2.75 respectively). Sex also showed a significant (P<0.05) on the used of crop residues with a 1.96 magnitude of the z- value.

Table of contents

Title page   i

Certification       ii

Dedication        iii

Acknowledgment iv

Abstract             vi

Table of contents      vii

List of tables        v


1.1       Background Information           1

  • Statement of the Problem  4
  • The objective of Study  6

1.4       Hypothesis           6

1.5       Justification          6


  • Concept of Soil Conservation 10
  • Assessment of Past and Present Soil Conservation Initiatives in Nigeria 11

2.3.0    Soil Conservation Strategies       13

2.3.1    Planting Vegetation           13

  • Soil Organisms and Watering the Soil 13
  • No-tilling or Direct Seeding and Organic Farming  14
  • Stubble Planting and Perennial Grass Barriers 14

2.3.5    Cover Crops       15

2.3.6    Crop Residues          15

2.3.7    Extended Crop Rotation          16

2.3.8    Green Manure             16

2.3.9    Animal Manure         17

2.3.10  The Integration of Livestock              18

  • Constraints and Drivers of Conservation Practices …………….. 18
    • Returns to land, Capital and Labour  18
    • Capital and Credit Availability  19
    • Labour Peaks and Opportunity Cost  19

2.3.4    Land Tenure and Time Horizon           20

2.4.5    Perception and Values          21

2.4.6    Risk and Stability                 22

  • Access to Information and Extension Service  23
  • Perceived Attributes of an Innovation  23

2.4.9    Policy Support          24

  • Theoretical Framework  24
    • Optimal Control Theory  24
    • The Theory of Planned Behaviour 25

2.6        Analytical Framework                 28

2.6.1      Cost-Benefit Analysis                 28

  • Partial Budgeting Analysis  29
  • Multinomial Logit Model 30


3.1     Study Area         32

3.2       Sampling procedure          33

3.3       Method of Data Collection          33

3.4       Data Analysis                  34


  • Conservation Practices Adopted by Farmers in Enugu State 38
  • Effects of Farmers’ Socio-economic Characteristics on their Use of

Soil Conservation Practices                       39

  • Estimate Benefit and Cost of Soil Conservation 53
  • Farmers Constraints to Use of Soil Conservation Practices 55


5.1 Summary     57

5.2 Conclusion          58

5.3 Recommendations          59

References                 60

Appendices        69


Background information

 According to the United Nations report (1984), Land-use management is the world’s most important environmental and productivity problem.

Land degradation, especially soil erosion, soil nutrient depletion and soil moisture stress, is a major problem confronting many African countries (13th International Soil Conservation Organisation Conference (ISCO), 2004).

Environmental degradation in National, State and Community levels in Nigeria is now a critical issue posing serious threats to the populace (Ezemonye, 2007).

The major processes of land degradation are physical (in the form of soil erosion, compaction, and crusting and iron pan formation) (Kathleen, 1993).

In Nigeria, one of the most serious problems of land-management is soil erosion. Soil erosion constitutes one of the greatest environmental and productivity problems, causing an estimated 30 million tonnes of soil loss annually.

Although erosion is a natural process human land use policies also have an effect on erosion, especially industrial agriculture, deforestation, and urban sprawl (Montogomery, 2008, Kotke, 2007).

Most of the severe and frightening soil erosion problems and catastrophes in Nigeria are found in many parts of South Eastern region where population densities and resource pressure in these parts rank among the highest in rural Africa.

There have been several reports on this ravaging situation in the Southeast, “the conditions, under which our kith and kin have to make their daily living in Nigeria, are hellish and inhuman,” (Orabuchi, 2006).


 Abd-Ella, M, Eric. O. H & Warren. R. D (1991). Adoption Behavior in Family Farm Systems: An Iowa Study. Journal of Rural Sociology, 46: 42-61.

Adeola, R. G. (2010). Influence of Socio – Economic Factors on the Adoption of Soil Conservation Measures in Ibadan / Ibarapa Agricultural Zone of Oyo State.

Ahaneku, I. E. (2010), Conservation of Soil and Water Resources for Combating Food Crisis in Nigeria. Journal of Scientific Research and Eassy vol 5 (6), pp 507-513.

Ahaneku, I. E, James, D.& Edogi ,K.  S  (2004). Changes  in  Soil Quality Indicators Induced  by Field Incorporation of Selected Animal Wastes. J. Agric. Environ. Eng. Technol. 1(1): 78-85.

Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behaviour. Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes 50, pp 179-211.

Ajzen, I. & Fishbein, M. ( 1974). Belief, Attitude, Intention and Behaviour: an Introduction to Theory and Research. Addison-Wesley.Reading, 27, pp 1-15.

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