An Evaluation of Farmers’ Participation in Afforestation Programme in Kogi State, Nigeria

"Extensive deforestation has reduced the 65 million hectares of intact forest cover of 1897 in Nigeria to the present 4 million hectares. The consequences of this unhealthy development have resulted to environmental degradation and accelerated wind and water erosion of the fertile land that has also left Nigerian soil too poor for sustainable agricultural production. Reforestation through small-scale village based farmers’ participation now form one of the strategies embarked upon by several agencies in Nigeria including Kogi afforestation project. This study attempts to evaluate farmers’ participation in afforestation project in Kogi State. Structured questionnaire was used to interview 120 participants. Descriptive statistics, adoption index and sigma method were used to describe socio-economic characteristics, participation methods and to measure the level of adoption while chi-square was used to find differences between income generated from adoption of the various afforestation technologies. Findings reveal that 67 percent of the farmers had little or no formal education, more than 30 percent of the farmers underwent passive participation in afforestation while adoption of improved seedlings, exotic trees and pure stand technologies received high score of 4.90, 4.74 and 4.44 respectively. Seed scarification and harvesting by chipping technologies received the least adoption score of 2.61 and 2.94. The chi-square test adjudged that there was a significant difference between income generated and type of technology adopted. This study recommends that more pragmatic interactive participation method that will give room for joint analysis of action plan and formation of local institutions should be put in place."
afforestation, deforestation, reforestation, community forestry