Oyewole, C.I., and S.O.

Ahmakhian International Journal of Crop Science 1(1): 35 - 43

CROPPING SYSTEMS AMONG FARMERS IN KOGI STATE, NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF ANYIGBA IN DEKINA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

C. I. Oyewole Department of Crop Production Faculty of Agriculture, Kogi State University P.M.B. 1008 Anyigba, Kogi State And S.O. Amhakhian Department of Soil Science Faculty of Agriculture, Kogi State University P.M.B. 1008 Anyigba, Kogi State Email: oyewolecharles@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT Survey of eighty-two farmlands around Kogi Sate University, Anyigba was conducted with a view to ascertain the predominant cropping systems, crop- type and levels of crop combinations. The survey was complimented with interviews to ascertain cropping history of the farmlands. Data were collected on current cropping systems, cropping history and data were generated on frequency of cropping systems, percentage crop combination, among other data. Data collected in August 2007 showed that maize was the predominant crop, occurring in thirty-seven farmlands (90.24%) and in most cases having the highest percentage crop combinations. Maize occurred four times as sole crop (10.81%) and thirty-three times (89.19%) in crop combinations. Cassava occurred, twenty-three times (56.10%). Twenty - one times as intercrop and twice as sole crop. Maize – cassava system occurred the most (36.59%), followed by yam – maize (21.95%). Sole yam occurred, ones (2.44%). Twocrop combinations accounted for approximately 71 per cent of the cropping systems, while three-crop combinations made up approximately 10 per cent. Generally, sole crops accounted for about 17 per cent of the cropping systems, while crop mixtures accounted for about 83 per cent. In the second set of survey taken in October, leguminous crops dominated the cropping systems, with the most prominent being cowpea. Keys: Anyigba, cropping systems, farms, cropping history and crop combination

INTRODUCTION One of the reasons for the failure of most subsistence farmers to adapt research recommendations is the tendency for researchers to focus on abstract environment as against the real situation. The real situation, being what is obtainable on farmer’s plots, or farmer’s usual practices. Research has to drawn upon this pool of farmers’ existing knowledge to gain acceptance. It has often been stressed that researchers have to focus on tackling farmers’ problems by applying a farming systems approach, as incorporating farmers’ traditional knowledge and capacity for experimentation into the design and adaptation of new technology is an essential ingredient for ensuring that the results of research are adopted. In view of this, a survey of the cropping systems of farmers in Anyigba, Dekina local government area of Kogi State was undertaken with a view to giving researchers a focus to which their research could be directed. Anyigba in Dekina Local Government area of Kogi State is an agrarian community. It is in Southern Guinea Savanna ecological zone of Nigeria. The environment is of rural set-up. It is occupied by the Igalas who are predominantly farmers. The Igalas are the largest ethnic group in Kogi State and the 9th largest ethnic group in Nigeria (Arugba, 2006). The duration of the rainy season allows the farmers to successfully crop their field twice in a year. The first (major) cropping comes up some time between March and August, while the second (minor) cropping is between August and December. While cereals and tubers predominate in the major cropping period, legumes are common sights in the minor cropping period (August – December). The only legume that formed part of the cropping systems in the first cropping period (March – August) was groundnut. However, groundnut is not widely cultivated by most farmers in Anyigba. Most farmers interviewed said that the crop is prone to theft. The other legumes come in the second cropping period (August – December). Prominent among these legumes are cowpea and bambara.

Oyewole, C.I., and S.O. Ahmakhian International Journal of Crop Science 1(1): 35 - 43

MATERIALS AND METHODS The Study Area The study was conducted in Ayingba (see figure 1), Dekina local government area of Kogi State. Dekina, the local government area is made up of five (5) districts Dekina, Okura, Iyale, Ogbabede and Anyigba. The local government was created in 1969 with Dekina town as her headquarter. It is one of the traditional headquarters of the Igala people and the paramount ruler is the Eje of Dekina. The local government is located in the Eastern part of Kogi State with a total Land area of 7,691 square kilometer. The area has common boundaries with Omala to the North, Ofu to the South, Ankpa to the East and Bassa to the West (Kogi State Survey, 2000). Dekina local government area has a total population of 260,312 (Census, 2006), representing 9.6% of the total population of Kogi state. Arable crops grown in this area include cereals, legumes, roots and tubers, which are basically at subsistence levels. Cash crops include oil palm, cotton, citrus, cashew, cocoa, kola, coffee, banana, and plantations. In the study area, two cropping periods predominate. The first begins with the onset of rains, some time in March or April, while the second is between August and September. To capture the practices in both cropping periods, a survey of fortyone farmlands was conducted in August 2007 to ascertain the cropping systems of farmers in this area in the first cropping period. A second survey was conducted in October 2007, to ascertain cropping pattern in the second cropping period. More farmlands are usually under cultivation in the first planting compared to the second planting. In the first survey, records were collected on cropping history of plots, levels of crop combinations, and crop types. While self-administered questionnaires were used in generating information on cropping history, other data listed above were generated through direct sampling and manual counting of samples. Forty-one farm sites around the Kogi State University were purposely selected for the survey. These farms were visited in August when the first cropping period was at its end. A second set of forty-one farms was visited in October to ascertain types of farming activities (second cropping period). The survey covers the southern border of the University, which is still predominately under cultivation. August and October were chosen for the survey since previous observations have shown that at this periods, most plantings would have ceased, thus the highest crop combination desired by farmers would have been achieved. Information on cropping systems were obtained by visibly counting the number of crop-types found on each field, while percentage crop combination per farm was obtained by taking the ratios of crop-types in two samples of 2 m2. The result was recorded as means of the two samples. Cognizance was given only of crops that were deliberately sown by farmers. Simple statistics like percentile and frequency distributions were used as tools of analysis. RESULTS The planting pattern employed by farmers in this area varies. However, in most cases intercropping was restricted to stand replacement, or mixed cropping. No where was row replacement observed (see Oyewole, 2005; Oyewole and Attah, 2006). Incorporation of cassava into the cropping system plays important role in the manipulation of the system. Where farmer intends to replace a component of the mixture with another after the harvest of the former, the cassava population is usually well spaced out. In most cases, cassava stands are spaced out to at least 5m. The space left between the stands is occupied by associating crop(s), in the first planting period and later by any leguminous crop in the second planting period. Thus, the ability of the farmer to manipulate the system depends on the pattern the cassava assumes. During the major cropping period (March – August), maize was the predominant crop. It occurred in thirty-seven farmlands (90.24%) and in most cases having the highest percentage crop combination, only superceded or equaled when intercropped with yam and in exceptional cases as in Farm 27, where it was intercropped with bambara (Table 1). Maize occurred four times as sole crop (10.81%) and thirty-three times (89.19%) in crop combinations. Cassava occurred, twenty-three times (56.10%), either as sole crop or in crop combinations. It occurred, twice as sole crop, as left over from previous cropping. Table 2 shows frequency of cropping systems, with the highest being maize – cassava, occurring fifteen times (36.59%), followed by yam – maize, which occurred nine times (21.95%). Sole yam occurred, ones (2.44%). The consistence of maize as the predominant crop in most farmer’s plots in the study area, is in conformity with the observation made by Ighalo and Alabi (2005), who observed that maize is the most important staple food in Nigeria. Two-crop combinations accounted for approximately 71 per cent of the cropping systems while three-crop combinations made up approximately 10 per cent (Table 3). Generally, sole cropping accounted for about 17 per cent of the cropping systems, while crop mixtures, whether two-crop combinations or three-crop combinations accounted for about 83 per cent (Table 3). Tubers, cereals and legumes occurred, 33, 37 and 4 times, respectively in the cropping systems of the farmers in Anyigba (Table 4) in the first cropping period. Table 5 showed the cropping history. The information indicated that maize remained the most consistent crop in the cropping systems of farmers in Anyigba. The trend also showed that the farmers have not observed the basic principles of crop rotation, and in most cases, legumes, particularly, cow-pea, has been conspicuously missing from the cropping systems in the first cropping period (March – August). This situation may not arguer well for the soil. Incorporating leguminous crop into the system would replenish soil nitrogen. The repeated continuous cropping of the same types of crop could also encourage diseases and pests of these crops - a situation that may be adequately addressed if the basic principles of crop rotation are adhered to. During the main cropping period, the following cropping systems were observed in the surveyed farmlands in Anyigba: yam-based and maize-based cropping systems. Cassava-based cropping systems were as a result of cropping old cassava plots, while retaining the cassava population.

Oyewole, C.I., and S.O. Ahmakhian International Journal of Crop Science 1(1): 35 - 43

During the minor cropping period (August – December) legumes predominated the cropping systems (Table 6). The common legumes were cowpea, pigeon pea, bambara and groundnut, with cowpea occurring the most time. However, there were patches of beni-seed in some farmers’ fields. The reason given for preferring legumes was the ability of legumes to replenish the soil nutrients. However, most fields that were intercropped with cassava were not cropped in the second cropping period. Exception to this, were fields where cassava population was well spaced out. In such situation, the portion previously occupied by maize crop was cultivated and sown to legumes, or other cereals. In most cases legumes were preferred. Among the legumes, cowpea and bambara were prominent. It should be observed that bambara nut is an important food stuff in this area, where it could be boiled and eaten, or allowed to dry and ground into flour for the preparation of other meals. The results obtained in both surveys agree with the general observation of the predominance of multiple cropping as against sole cropping in the cropping systems of most farmers in Nigeria (Steiner, 1982; Edwards, 1993). It has previously been observed that faced with cumbersome methods of land preparation that permits only small area of land to be cultivated the farmers must make the utmost use of the cultivated land. They maximize land out put by growing more than one type of crop on a piece of land in a particular season. This traditional system is reported to be stable and biologically efficient (Giller, 1992). However, there is the tendency for farmers in Anyigba to disregard the basic principles of crop rotation. This may over ride some expected advantage that may accrue to farmers engaged in Intercropping, who adhered to these basic principles. To make up for the non-inclusion of legumes in the first cropping, most farmers cultivated the cereal stalk into the soil during land preparation for the second crop. Farmers interviewed argued that burying of plant stalks during land cultivation for the second planting should replenish the soil nutrients. However, the practice may not produce the expected result since adequate decomposition would not have occurred to the benefit of the second crop. In most fields visited there was evidence of continuous cropping of the same type of crop(s). This practice will encourage loss of the same nutrients from the soil and encourage the build-up of the pests and diseases that are common to such crops. Climatic conditions that prevail during March – August planting period, do not permit full performance of common legumes. There is an encouragement of vegetative development among the major legumes at the expense of reproductive development if sown early in the rains. Steiner (1982) had recognized the following principal cropping systems in Nigeria: cassava-based, plantain-based, yam-based, rice-based, sorghum-based, maize-based and millet-based cropping systems. The author had observed that rainfall play important role in the predominant cropping system of an area. In Anyigba, since sorghum and cassava are harvested latter than maize, or yam, they come into the cropping system as minor crops. As these will not satisfy the farmer’s immediate need of providing food for his family as will maize. It was, however, observed that besides crop moisture requirement, the needs of the farmer plays significant role in the cropping systems observable in Anyigba. Most farmers adhered to farm-family needs, or to produce which has readily available market. While climatic conditions play important role in determining cropping period, farmfamily requirements determine crop types among the many available options. While the first cropping period was dominated by carbohydrate crop, the second cropping period was dominated by legumes, which formed the principal crops in the various mixtures, thus implying that the system was legume-based cropping system. This system was not previously recognized in the classification made by Steiner (1982). CONCLUSION While the benefits of intercropping have been readily stressed, for farmers in Anyigba or elsewhere in Nigeria to continue to get the gains of intercropping, there is the need to draw attention to the benefits of observing basic principles of crop rotation, particularly in the absence of inorganic fertilizers. Such principles as incorporating legumes into the cropping systems/cropping history, shallow-rooted crops following deep-rooted crops, crops with similar diseases not following each other, among some other crop rotation principles. Efforts should be made to introduce leguminous plants that are adapted to the ecological zone, which will perform well under the given rain conditions usually experienced during the first cropping period. REFERENCES Arugba, S.S. (2006). Salt consumption pattern of the people in eastern flank of Kogi State, Nigeria. Savanna Journal of Science and Agriculture Vol. 4(58 – 71) Census (2006). In Alhassan A. I. (2007) Women participation in palm oil marketing activities in dekina local government area of Kogi State. A B. Agric. Project submitted to the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Faculty of Agricultural Science, Kogi State University, Anyigba 73pp Edwards, R. (1993). Traditional systems and farming systems research In: Dry Land Farming in Africa (Rowland, J. ed). Macmillan Education Ltd., London, and Basing stoke, 336 pp Giller K. E. (1992). Measuring inputs from nitrogen fixation in multiple cropping systems. In: Biological Nitrogen Fixation and Sustainability of Tropical Agriculture (Mulongoy K. M.; Gueye, M. and spencer, D. S. C. eds). Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference of the African Association for Biological Nitrogen Fixation (AABNF), held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria, 24-28 Sept. 1990. John Wiley and Son, United Kingdom, pp. 297-308

Oyewole, C.I., and S.O. Ahmakhian International Journal of Crop Science 1(1): 35 - 43

Ighalo, S.O. and Alabi, R.A. (2005). Relative economic advantage of maize-okra intercrop in humid rain forest zone of Nigeria. Proceedings of the 39th conference of the Agricultural Society of Nigeria, Benin 2005 pp. 158 – 161 Kogi State Survey (2000). In: Alhassan A. I. (2007) Women participation in palm oil marketing activities in dekina local government area of Kogi State. A B. Agric. Project submitted to the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Faculty of Agricultural Science, Kogi State University, Anyigba 73pp Oyewole, C.I. (2005). Effects of millet - groundnut cropping pattern, P and K on groundnut yield in Sokoto. International Journal of Food and Agricultural Research. Development Universal Consortia, Vol. 2 (1&2): 83-90 Oyewole, C.I. and Attah, E.S. (2006). Farming system approach, implication for food security in Nigeria: Case study of maize – okra – groundnut mixtures. Proceedings of the 40th conference of the Agricultural Society of Nigeria, Abia, 2005 pp. 693 - 695 Steiner, K. G. (1982) Intercropping in the Tropical Small -holder Agriculture with Special Reference to West Africa. German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) Postfash 5180, D-Eschborn / TS. 1. 303 pp

Oyewole, C.I., and S.O. Ahmakhian International Journal of Crop Science 1(1): 35 - 43

Table 1: Cropping system and level of crop combination among the various farmers in Anyigba, Dekina Local Government Area in Kogi State during the major cropping period (March – August) Farm Crop combination Maize Cassava Yam Bambara Pigeon pea Sorghum 1 Yam – Maize * *** 2 Yam – Cassava * *** 3 Maize **** 4 Maize **** 5 Maize **** 6 Cassava **** 7 Maize – Cassava *** * 8 Yam – Maize ** ** 9 Yam **** 10 Maize – Cassava ** ** 11 Maize – Sorghum *** * 12 Maize – Cassava *** * 13 Yam – Maize ** ** 14 Maize – Cassava *** * 15 Maize – Cassava *** * 16 Maize – Cassava *** * 17 Maize – Sorghum *** * 18 Maize **** 19 Maize – Cassava *** * 20 Maize – Sorghum *** * 21 Cassava **** 22 Yam – Maize – Cassava * * ** 23 Maize – Cassava *** * 24 Maize – Cassava – Pigeon pea ** * * 25 Maize – Cassava *** * 26 Maize – Pigeon pea ** ** 27 Bambara – Maize – Cassava * * ** 28 Maize – Cassava – Pigeon pea ** * * 29 Maize – Cassava *** * 30 Maize – Cassava *** * 31 Maize – Cassava *** * 32 Maize – Cassava *** * 33 Maize – Cassava *** * 34 Yam – Maize ** ** 35 Yam – Maize ** ** 36 Yam – Maize ** ** 37 Yam – Maize * *** 38 Maize – Sorghum – Cassava ** * * 39 Maize – Cassava *** * 40 Yam – Maize * *** 41 Yam – Maize * *** The crop listed first was sown first. * ≤25% crop component; ** >25% ≤ 50% crop component; *** >50% ≤ 75% crop component; **** 100% crop component

Oyewole, C.I., and S.O. Ahmakhian International Journal of Crop Science 1(1): 35 - 43

Table 2: Frequency and percentage of crop combination in Anyigba, Dekina Local Government Area in Kogi State during the major cropping period (March – August) Crop combination Frequency Percentage Yam – Maize 9 21.95 Yam – Cassava 1 2.44 Maize sole 4 9.76 Cassava sole 2 4.88 Maize – Cassava 15 36.59 Maize – Sorghum 3 7.32 Yam sole 1 2.44 Yam – Maize – Cassava 1 2.44 Maize – Cassava – Pigeon pea 2 4.88 Maize – Pigeon pea 1 2.44 Bambara – Maize – Cassava 1 2.44 Maize – Sorghum – Cassava 1 2.44 Total 41

Table 3: Comparison between sole and multiple cropped fields in Anyigba, Dekina Local Government Area in 2007 cropping season during the major cropping period (March – August) Cropping system Frequency Percentage Sole cropping 7 17.07 Crop mixtures 34 82.93 Total 41 Two crop combinations 29 70.73 Three crop combinations 5 12.20 Single crop 7 17.07 Total 41

Table 4: Classes of food crop grown in Anyigba, Dekina Local Government Area in 2007 cropping seasons during the major cropping period (March – August) Class of crop Frequency Percentage Tuber crops 33 17.07 Cereals 37 82.93 Legumes 4 9.76

Oyewole, C.I., and S.O. Ahmakhian International Journal of Crop Science 1(1): 35 - 43

Table 5: Crop combination in Anyigba, Dekina Local government Area in Kogi State in 2005, 2006 and 2007 cropping seasons during the major cropping period (March – August) Farm Crop combination 2005 cropping season 2006 cropping season 2007 cropping season 1 Yam – Maize Yam – Maize Yam – Maize 2 NA Cassava – Yam Yam – Cassava 3 Maize – Cassava Cassava – Maize Maize 4 Maize – Cassava Cassava – Maize Maize 5 Maize – Cassava Cassava – Maize Maize 6 Maize – Cassava Cassava Cassava 7 Cassava – Maize Maize Maize – Cassava 8 Maize Maize Yam – Maize 9 NA NA Yam 10 Cassava Maize Maize – Cassava 11 Cassava Maize Maize – Sorghum 12 Cassava – Maize Maize Maize – Cassava 13 Maize Maize Yam – Maize 14 Maize Maize Maize – Cassava 15 Maize – Cassava Cassava – Maize Maize – Cassava 16 Maize – Cassava Cassava – Maize Maize – Cassava 17 Maize – Cassava Cassava – Maize Maize – Sorghum 18 Maize – Cassava Cassava Maize 19 Maize – Cassava Cassava – Maize Maize – Cassava 20 Maize Maize – Sorghum Maize – Sorghum 21 NA Maize – Cassava Cassava 22 Maize – Pigeon pea Pigeon pea – Maize Yam – Maize – Cassava 23 Maize – Cassava Cassava Maize – Cassava 24 Maize – Cassava Cassava – Maize Maize – Cassava – Pigeon pea 25 Maize – Cassava Cassava Maize – Cassava 26 Maize – Cassava Cassava – Maize Maize – Pigeon pea 27 Maize – Cassava Cassava Bambara – Maize – Cassava 28 Maize – Cassava Cassava Maize – Cassava – Pigeon pea 29 Maize – Cassava Cassava Maize – Cassava 30 Cassava – Maize Maize Maize – Cassava 31 Maize Maize Maize – Cassava 32 Maize Yam – Maize Maize – Cassava 33 Yam – Maize Yam – Maize Maize – Cassava 34 Maize Yam – Maize Yam – Maize 35 Maize Yam – Maize Yam – Maize 36 Maize Yam – Maize Yam – Maize 37 Cassava – Maize Yam – Maize Yam – Maize 38 Cassava – Maize Yam – Maize Maize – Sorghum – Cassava 39 Maize – Cassava Cassava – Maize Maize – Cassava 40 Maize – Cassava Cassava – Maize Yam – Maize 41 Maize – Cassava Cassava – Maize Yam – Maize ** The crop listed first was cropped first. NA = Information not available

Oyewole, C.I., and S.O. Ahmakhian International Journal of Crop Science 1(1): 35 - 43

Table 6: Cropping system and level of crop combination among the various farmers in Anyigba, Dekina Local Government Area in Kogi State (second cropping) Farm Cropping system Maize Cassava Cowpea Bambara Pigeon Beniseed pea 1 Cassava - Cowpea * *** 2 Bamabara – Maize - Cassava * * *** 3 Bamabara – Maize – Cassava * * *** 4 G/nut – Maize – Cassava * * 5 Bamabara – Cowpea – Cassava * * ** 6 Cowpea – Maize * **** 7 Cowpea – Pigeon pea *** * 8 Cowpea **** 9 Cowpea **** 10 Bambara – cassava * *** 11 Bambara – cassava * *** 12 Cowpea – Maize –Cassava * * ** 13 Bamabara – Maize – Cassava * * *** 14 Bamabara – Maize – Cassava * * *** 15 Bamabara – Maize – Cassava * * *** 16 Cowpea – Maize * **** 17 Cowpea – Maize * **** 18 Cowpea – cassava * *** 19 Cowpea – Maize * **** 20 Cowpea – Maize * **** 21 Cowpea – Maize * **** 22 Cowpea – Maize * **** 23 Cowpea – Maize * **** 24 Cowpea – Maize * **** 25 Cassava - Cowpea * *** 26 Cowpea – Maize * **** 27 Cowpea – Maize * **** 28 Cassava - Cowpea * *** 29 Bamabara – Maize – Cassava * * *** 30 Bamabara – Maize – Cassava * * *** 31 Bamabara – Maize – Cassava * * *** 32 Cassava - Cowpea * *** 33 Cassava - Cowpea * *** 34 Bamabara **** 35 Cowpea **** 36 Cowpea **** 37 Bamabara **** 38 Bamabara **** 39 Bamabara – Maize – Cassava * * *** 40 Bamabara – Maize – Cassava * * *** 41 Beni-seed – Maize * *** The crop listed first was sown first. * ≤25% crop component; ** >25% ≤ 50% crop component; *** >50% ≤ 75% crop component; **** 100% crop component

G/nut

**

*

Oyewole, C.I., and S.O. Ahmakhian International Journal of Crop Science 1(1): 35 - 43

Fig. 1:Geographical map showing Anyigba (Anyagba) and the surrounding towns.

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