Rural Food Production Systems and Effects on Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Quality in Cross River State, Nigeria

Ashagwu O. OKADI, Emmanuel C. OSINEM

Abstract


Agricultural resources are not inexhaustible, and their sustained availability and use depend on the sustainability of the system or practices involved in their exploitation.  Most systems and practices adopted by farmers in food production most often are not constantly assessed for their impacts on the soil and its related resources as well as the quality of the environment; thus threatening the sustainability of the agricultural system.  This study was therefore designed to carry out a survey of the rural food production systems and practices adopted by farmers with a view to determining the effects of these systems on sustainable agriculture and environmental quality.  Two research questions and two related null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.  A sample of 256 respondents made up of registered farmers, and extension workers were used for the study; a structured questionnaire was used for data collection while the data generated were analyzed using the mean, standard deviation, and t – test statistics.  The findings of the study revealed that rural food production system adopted revolved around shifting cultivation and related fallow systems, which have negative effects on sustainable food production and environmental quality.  Based on the findings, some recommendations were made.

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