Soil dynamics, conservation and food supply in the grassland ecological zone of Sub-Sahara Africa: The need for sustainable agroecosystem management for maize (Zea mays)
AbstractTo a large extent vegetation and its management determine soil quality and this conse-quently influences agricultural production. These factors and the links between them are among the primary bases for socioeconomic and environmental sustainability. Grassland is a key resource which is valuable for humans, animals and the environment in the supply of food, feed and other ecosystem services. The role played by the African savanna-grasslands can never be overemphasized. This paper focuses on agroecosystem management techniques and their effects on soil and on food provision in the Guinea sa-vanna ecological belt of Nigeria. Firstly, the study analyzed reviews on the production trends in maize growing in Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA). Secondly, the authors carried out re-search which aimed at examining the variations in soil nutrients and crop yields as medi-ated by anthropogenic grassland management methods in the Northern Guinea savanna of Nigeria. Data were collected from four states (Niger, Kaduna, Bauchi and FCT-Abuja) located in the agro-ecological zone. In each state, four plots were designated as Plots 1, 2, 3 and 4, each representing one of the agro ecological practices of Fallow, Slash & Burn, Extensive Grazing, and Intensive Grazing. Topsoil (0-15cm) samples were collected from each plot and analyzed for their contents. Maize was cultivated and harvested over three growing seasons and the yield from each plot was measured. The results revealed that the extensive grazing plot produced the highest maize yield, while the slash and burn plot had the lowest. The effects of the soil nutrients as mediated by the treatments, significant-ly influenced the yield. It was recommended that Agricultural Extension Agents be de-ployed in the region in order to educate the rural farmers about the best management practices for increasing the food supply and achieving sustainable development.
Nov 25, 2016
How to Cite
NWAOGU, Chukwudi et al. Soil dynamics, conservation and food supply in the grassland ecological zone of Sub-Sahara Africa: The need for sustainable agroecosystem management for maize (Zea mays). Development, Environment and Foresight, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 2, p. 61-79, nov. 2016. ISSN 2336-6621. Available at: <http://def-journal.eu/index.php/def/article/view/32>. Date accessed: 24 mar. 2019.
Agroecosystem management; soil conservation; maize; Guinea savanna-grassland,;Africa
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