Farming Strategy of African Smallholder Farmers in Transition from Traditional to Alternative Agriculture: The Case of the Nupe in Central Nigeria
by Shin ABE, Ryo TAKAHASHI, Akiko HARUNA, Eiji YAMAJI, Toshiyuki WAKATSUKI
It is worthwhile to understand farming strategies of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, especially those of farmers who are in transition from traditional to alternative agriculture in terms of adoption of innovative technologies. In a case study of inland valleys in central Nigeria, we investigated the farming strategy of Nupe farmers who have a long-term tradition of wet rice cultivation and indigenous methods of land preparation for soil, water and weed management. In this region, a new method of land preparation has recently been introduced along with a recommendation to use improved seeds and chemical fertilizers. Our findings reveal that Nupe farmers directly sow traditional seeds and apply a marginal amount of fertilizer to paddy plots prepared by labor-saving methods on drought-prone hydromorphic valley fringes and flood-susceptible valley bottoms, whereas they preferentially transplanted improved seedlings and applied a relatively large quantity of fertilizer to paddy fields prepared by a labor-intensive and mechanized method on a valley position where they can access to optimum water condition (less risky against the drought and flood).
Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, Land preparation method, Rice cultivation, Risk management, Technology adoption
JEL classification: N57, O33, Q16
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