Journal of
Soil Science and Environmental Management

  • Abbreviation: J. Soil Sci. Environ. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2391
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSSEM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 311

Full Length Research Paper

Farmers perception on soil fertility status of small- scale farming system in southwestern Ethiopia

Bahilu Bezabih
  • Bahilu Bezabih
  • Department of Natural Resources Management, Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, P. O. Box 307, Jimma, Ethiopia.
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Mulugeta Iemenih
  • Mulugeta Iemenih
  • Forestry and Natural Resources Management section, Farm Africa, P. O. Box: 1750, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Alemayehu Regassa
  • Alemayehu Regassa
  • Department of Natural Resources Management, Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, P. O. Box 307, Jimma, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 17 May 2016
  •  Accepted: 03 August 2016
  •  Published: 30 September 2016

Abstract

Soil is one of the most essential natural resources. That is why soil fertility management is a major global concern. The current study in Delta sub-watershed was conducted to assess farmer’s perception on soil fertility status of small holder farming system under different land uses, Enset (Ensete ventricosum) farm, grazing and agricultural land. Both secondary and primary data were collected through direct field observation, focus group discussion, key informants and household interviewing. The results revealed that farmers of the study area employed different traditional indicators to assess soil fertility status. Among the indicators used, about 44.4% of the interviewed farmers perceive reduction of crop yield, 25.4% perceives change in soil color and 28.57% of the farmers perceive weed dominance and indicator plant species as a main indicator of soil fertility decline. Using the indicators, they ranked soil fertility status of grazing and Enset farm lands as more fertile than agricultural land. In order to tackle the problem of decline in soil fertility, the interventions should focus on supporting farmers to implement diversified nutrient management strategies that can maintain and conserve soil in order to ensure sustainably high crop yield as well as long term productivity of the soil.

 

Key words: Crop yield, land use, farming system, soil fertility indicator.