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FARMERS’ KNOWLEDGE OF LAND DEGRADATION ISSUES IN GANGA DISTRICT, DAURA EMIRATE, KATSINA STATE, NIGERIA.
[ Alhassan Mamman Muhammad, ] - Senior Lecturer
[ Mallam Yusuf Garba ] - Student,Department of Geography and Environmental Management
This study examined farmers' knowledge about land degradation, their understanding and interpretation of factors related to soil fertility decline; their responses to land degradation; their views on the seriousness of the problem; how their perceptions influenced the management practices of their farmlands within the study area; variation in farmers’ perception of land degradation/soil fertility decline between respondents in Ganga District (Ganga, Godai, Shadambu, Tambu and Mazoji); and the influence level of education, gender and age exert on farmers perception of land degradation/soil fertility decline issues in Ganga District of Daura Local Government Area, Katsina State. Two hundred and forty questionnaires were administered to respondents within the study area. Purposeful sampling technique was used to select famers that are actively involved in farming practices in the area. The farmers were surveyed between December 2008 to January 2009 which coincided with the period when land preparation and planting were actively being done. The study involved administration of a semi‐structured questionnaire supplemented with oral interview and field observations. Results obtained indicate that most farmers in the area are aware of land degradation processes occurring on their farmlands; the level of awareness is highest among the more educated inhabitants of the area that gender and that age has little or an insignificant influence on the way farmers’ perceive land degradation issues, Recommendations include the need for massive enlightenment campaign to be launched on the menace of land degradation and on the role of the public in tackling it, effort to initiate communal tree planting and farmers planting individual tree on their farms should be encouraged, fallowing should be encouraged rather than land being intensively cultivated, and there should be alternative to the use of fuel wood as source of energy.
Land degradation, Soil Fertility decline, Farmers' Knowledge, Soil Erosion, Perceptions, Land Improvement Measures.