6. Traditional agriculture in southeastern Nigeria: demographic, land tenure, and other socio-economic factors.
Beitr. Trop.Landw. Vet. med.,28, 1, 1990, pp. 5-17
The food crisis currently experienced in Nigeria underscores the great need to understand the production system of the small farmers who produce the bulk of the food consumed. Therefore, considerable attention has been devoted to study different forms of farming systems practised across the country with a view to identifying the constraints involved and finding ways and means of alleviating these constraints, within the small farmers' socioeconomic setting.
A reconnaissance survey was first undertaken in June 1984 in the 3 target areas in order to obtain an overview of the type, organization, and functioning of the prevailing farming systems, to appraise the land resources and the physical environments under which the small farmers operate.
The study was carried out to investigate the influence of demography, land tenure, credit and other socio-economic factors on the traditional bush fallow agriculture. In spite of large land resources, there was a strong influence of existing tenurial practices on the farming system.
Land tenure exists in various forms as co-operative (communal) property, permanent private property, and land leasing, the latter utilized in contract farming. One third of the farmers were members of cooperatives, others of peer groups, but both types of farming are not very effective.
There were considerable differences in the gross income. Government support for the farmers was minimal. 93% of all farms investigated had not received any government credits and only 20% had been able to make use of plant material supplied by the government.
It is concluded from this study that:
- Although arable lands were generally plentiful and population densities low, achievement of higher productivity per farm family was hampered by lack of evolution of modern, improved farming techniques, by rigid and unprogressive organizational and land tenurial practices which discouraged long-term investments by external cultivators, and by absence of credit facilities to farmers and farmers' aversion to cooperation societies.
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Traditional land-use systems
Asia, Malaysia, study, project, shifting cultivation, technology, institutions, community development, participatory approach
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