Discourse Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Volume 3 Issue 10 Page 148 - 154. December 2015

Copyright 2015 Discourse Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Environmental Impact of Pastoral Nomadism on Crop Farming in Ohafia, Abia State, Nigeria

Goodhead C. Uchendu,1 John I. Ihedioha,1 and Emea O. Arua,2

1Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State Nigeria.
2Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nigeria Nsukka Enugu State Nigeria

Abstract

This study assessed the environmental impact of pastoral Nomadism on crop farming in Ohafia, Abia State, Nigeria. A combination of purposive and multi-stage random sampling techniques were adopted to survey the eight directly affected out of the twenty-six communities in Ohafia Local Government Area. Primary data were sourced using structured questionnaire, a well planned non-participatory observation scheme and an in-depth interview for the non-literate respondents and the Nomads. The origin and migratory pattern of the Nomads were studied. The state of environment before and after the emergence of the nomads was compared. The size of farmlands overtaken by erosion and deforestation, farmers’ expenditure to recover/enrich devastated farmlands and extra cost of re-cropping were estimated. The farm yields of affected farms were compared before and after the emergence of the nomads, and again with the yields from non affected farms during the same period. Results showed that the activities of the Nomads led to deforestation, erosion, desertification, hardening of top soil surface and loss of fertility among others. The litter from the livestock of the nomads served as manure in the farmlands but also created unsightly surroundings in addition to polluting community streams, children’s play ground, shrines, church premises and village squares (recreation parks). Construction of sedentary or permanent resident for the Nomads and development of fiscal policy that shall provide the Nomads with user rights protecting them from being attacked by villagers are strongly advocated.

Keywords: Abia State; Crop Farming; Environment; Nomadism; Ohafia

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