ASSESSMENT OF INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE PRACTICES UTILIZED FOR SOIL FERTILITY MANAGEMENT IN OGBA/EGBEMA/NDONI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, RIVERS STATE.

NNAH, MAXWELL B., Ph.D & ABALI, AGATHA PRINCESS

Abstract
This study was undertaken to assess indigenous knowledge practices utilized by crop farmers for soil fertility management in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The study adopted the descriptive survey design with a sample size of one hundred and twenty (120) farmers drawn from five communities. A structured questionnaire of 4-point Likert rating scale of Strongly Agree (SA), Agree (A), Disagree (D) and Strongly Disagree (SD) and Very Frequently Used (VF), Frequently Used (F), Rarely Used (R) and Not Used (N); was used to elicit information from the respondents. Data were analyzed using arithmetic mean. The socio´┐żeconomic characteristics of the farmers were analyzed using frequencies and percentages. The results showed that a greater percentage of the respondents were men farmer (62.5%), married (51.67%) and were within the ages of 40-49 (45.8%). Majority of them were educated at the primary level (39.1%), followed by those with no formal education (21.6%); cultivating on farm size of 0.25 -1 ha (49.2%) and 1.5-2 ha (34.2%). Visual indicators of soil fertility used by
the farmers include soil colours ( = 3.52), certain plant species ( = 3.45), growth of vegetation during fallow periods ( = 3.39), length of fallow period ( = 3.28), among others. Indigenous knowledge commonly utilized include intercropping ( = 3.45), use of wood ash ( = 3.39),
planting of multiple cropping ( = 3.24), bush fallowing ( = 2.94), among others. There are benefits as well as limitations to using the indigenous knowledge practices for soil fertility management. It is recommended that there should be networking and synergies between
government, research institutions and NGOs to facilitate the utilization of indigenous knowledge to the benefits of farmers.


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