Contribution of Agroforestry Practices to improvement of Crop Production among farmers in Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria
The poverty status of many smallholder farmers is a serious challenge to agricultural production especially in the area of input supply which led them to traditional farming system. Therefore, the study investigated the contribution of agro-forestry practices to improvement of crop production among farmers in Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun state. Purposive sampling was used to select Odeda LGA due to high concentration of farmers whereas simple random sampling procedure was used to select 120 respondents through well-structured interview schedule for the study. The data collected were analyzed with descriptive statistics and inferential statistical tool, to test the hypothesis. The study revealed that the majority of the respondents that practiced agroforestry in the study area were males (56.7%). Majority of the respondents (62.5%) were married and also majority of the dweller (48.3%) had no formal education. The results also showed that all the respondents (100%) frequently cultivated arable crops in the study area. The findings further revealed that the majority of the respondents (83.8%) practiced shifting cultivation. Virtually all the respondents (100%) benefited from agroforestry practice with a significant improvement on their crop production which brought increase in income to the farmers. There was a significant association between the types of agroforestry practiced and improvement of arable crops in the study area (p< 0.01). Finally, it was concluded that agro-forestry is profitable as it gives room for intercropping with other crops, which with other agro-forestry practices, aid replenishing the soil nutrient. It was recommended that the Forestry Department should organize practical demonstrations of some agroforestry practices among the rural farmers. It also recommended that the government should empower the extension agents to enlighten the farmers on the best practices in agroforestry without destroying the ecosystem.
Keywords: Agroforestry Practices, Crop Production, Improvement