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Land Degardation and Sustainable Food Production in the Niger Delta

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Land Degardation and Sustainable Food Production in the Niger Delta

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LAND DEGRADATION AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY IN THE NIGER DELTA AREA OF NIGERIA

By
F.O.IDUMAH1 and F.Y. OKUNMADEWA2
1Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, I
2Department of Agricultural Economics
University of Ibadan, Ibadan 1Corresponding author’s e-mail address: idumafelix@yahoo.com

Abstract
The exploration of crude oil in the Niger Delta are of Nigeria has created the problem of oil pollution and degradation of farm lands. Apart from disturbing the healthy agric –ecological balance, the hazards deteriorate the soil resulting in low agricultural production and farm income. The present study of the Delta and Rivers States in the Niger Delta region is based on a sample of 270 respondents’ and attempts to assess the effect of oil pollution of farm production and income. The study observed that farmers spend more on non-land resources as in problem (oil polluted) soils and yet reap in most cases a lower yield from food production and income compares to farmers in areas where soil is not affected. The study therefore recommends that government should formulate policies that will mitigate the incidence and impact of oil spillages. The government can also help the farmers by producing farm inputs and credit facilities that can assist them increase food production in the area.

Key words: Oil pollution, land degradation, sustainable agricultural productivity, Niger Delta, Niger.

Introduction
One of the problems facing agricultural development especially in the developing world is the degradation of land resources and this is caused by a number of factors. Scherr and Yadar (1996) highlighted some possible causes of land degradation, which include deforestation, water and soil erosion, water logging, salinization, and removal of organic materials, bush burning and misuse of agro-chemical. Lal (1995) listed indiscriminate and intensive land use for seasonal crop production, resources based...