Soil nutrient dynamics under small-holder agricultural practices in Konduga, north-eastern Nigeria. (116)
Keywords:Soil nutrient dynamics, Small-holder agriculture, North-eastern Nigeria
AbstractThe fertility of soil in the tropics is strongly influenced by the secondary soil factors of organic matter (OM), cation exchange capacity (CEC), and pH. Thus, information on the changes in the levels of these soil properties is very vital to agricultural land use planning. This study examined the changes which occur in these soil properties following the establishment of small-holder agricultural practices (SHAP), by comparing soil properties under the SHAP with a similar soil under a natural Savannah woodland (forest reserve). The results revealed that in the 0-10 cm layer of soil under small-holder agriculture, there was a significant decline (P < 0.01) in OM, CEC, and pH (P < 0.05) compared with similar properties in the adjoining Savannah woodland. In the 10-30 cm layer of soil, OM, CEC, and pH also declined significantly (P < 0.05). The results suggested a decline in soil fertility in the cultivated sites. The adoption of soil management techniques to conserve and enhance soil OM and nutrients appears crucial to the long-term productivity of the soil and sustainability of agriculture in the area.