THE EFFECT OF BUSH BURNING ON AGRICULTURAL LAND
Bush burning removes the natural vegetation cover that protects the soil surface. This exposes the land to the effects of wind and water erosion. It should however noted that burning on agricultural lands in Okada in Ovia North East Local Government Area attention was focused on the merit and demerit of burning agricultural land in chapter five. At the later part of this chapter, useful suggestions and recommendations were given on how to carryout burning by trying to avoid bad effects on burning agricultural lands in Okada in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State. However these suggestions and recommendations are mainly on the part of the governments which are as follows:
1. The government should help in prohibition of bush burning careless use of fire by enlightening the farmers and the public.
2. The government is to ensure that there are fires services in the rural area are well equipped with materials to fight against the outbreak of fire especially in the forest reserves.
3. The government should provide for some merchandised equipment to the local farmers to hire for use at a cheap rate in order to minimize the act of burning agricultural lands by local farmers.
4. The government should also provide fertilizer to replenish lost nutrients during burning.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Burning with reference to land cultivation is a method of land preparation in Edo State. In general and in Okada in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State in particular bush burning generally is the method of removing the natural vegetable from the surface of the soil by setting fire on debris. Bush burning causes serious damage to trees and crops, its effect of public concern which should not be for farmer alone and should be handled with seriousness, practice of burning of fire could also lead to accidental burning of his land and other properties at his disposal, this ideals of burning his farm came to him with the food that fire has left behind after roasting his food, fire spread and destroyed all that was left behind in the environment.
Burning the farmland for the cultivation of crops has a remarkable effect on the soil fertility. During burning process some nutrients that are highly needed by the plants are lost out in form of gasses such nutrient include phosphorous, nitrogen and sulphur. The ash which is the principle products of burnt material although rich in phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium can be easily washed away by rain. The heat produced during burning creates an unfavourable condition for activities of the soil organism such as earthworms, bacteria etc.
He also found out the seed of fruits he has eaten and thrown off has grown in his burnt land and as a result of this included burning in his farm system. The practice of burning can be traced back of about 2000 years ago, it was discovered that most of the vegetation debris after clearing, especially on a large scale farming and small scale farms. Apart from burning the land for cultivation purpose animals are also trapped.
1.2 PURPOSE OF STUDY
Bush burning has become part and parcel of the activities of farmers in this area. The negative effects are not considered at all. Hence it is important to highlight these for the farmers to experience and observe the dangerous effects of bush burning as it affect the soil as a whole.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Since bush burning is the major lands preparation practice, it is important to study the effect of bush burning on agricultural lands and also to carryout investigation on how far bush burning has affected agricultural land in Okada in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State and possibly find alternative measure to avoid bush burning.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this project is limited to Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State, some important towns and villages in Ovia North East Local Government Area such as Ekiadolor Town, Evboneka, Ughoton etc where farming operation is carried extensively and that burning issues form the scope of my study. This is due to some constraints
1.5 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
This aims and objective of this project are:
1.To analyze the effect of burning on economic tree crops
2.To analyze some of the effect of bush burning on different soil structures
3. To analyze the effect of bush burning in relationship to land in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.
4.To analyze some of the effect of burning on crop plants.
5.To identify the effect of bush burning on agricultural land in Ovia North East Local Government of Edo State.
6.To analyze the use of bush burning as a weed control measure or method.
1.6 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
Burning is a major problem with agricultural land in our contemporary society especially Okada in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State. The study answers the following questions;
1. Does bush burning have effect on farm crop or plant?
2. Does bush burning reduce the effect of weed or a measure to control weed?
3. Is burning to fight against pest?
4. Do you consider bush burning as the cheapest method of land preparation?