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Agro-forestry practices and sustainable agriculture in yam producing communities of Niger state, Nigeria

Keywords: Key words: Agro-forestry , woodlots , organic fertilizers , inorganic fertilizers.

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Abstract:

In recognition of farmland burden in terms of land degradation, bulky nature of and unavailability of inorganic fertilizers as well as time constraint in the formation of organic fertilizers, there is the need to shift to agro-forestry practices. The practice will make room for arable crop production and forest/tree crop production. Four autonomous communities were studied in Niger State Nigeria. The communities are generally known for yam production. One hundred and twenty farmers were randomly selected for the study in Koro, Gwari, Kadara and Kambari communities. Thirty yam farmers were selected in each community using random sampling technique. One hundred and twenty farmers were studied in all. Results were analysed using simple percentages and pie charts. Results show that there is a high level of consciousness of agro-forestry among the farmers. Shrubs such as Gliricidia sepium and Cajanus cajan are common and they make a cumulative percentage of 35.0% of tree species used for agro- forestry practices. Fruit trees such as Citrus species make a cumulative percentage of 31.0% while other tree species used includes but not exclusive to Tectona grandis, Gmelina arborea and Terminalia species. It is recommended that youths and young farmers in the communities be more involved in agro-forestry practices of this nature for a sustainable practice to be ensured.

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