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Perceived Level and Farmer Characteristics Factors Associated with Level of Environmental Sustainability of Cotton Farming System in the Sudanese Gezira Scheme

Abdalla, Omer Ali Mohammed, Okorley, Ernest Laryea, Boateng, Samuel Akuamoah
Theinternational journal of sustainable development and world ecology 2018 v.25 no.6 pp. 535-540
agricultural machinery and equipment, cash crops, conservation practices, correlation, cotton, crop production, educational status, environmental sustainability, family size, farmers, farming systems, fertilizers, industry, irrigation water, issues and policy, livelihood, managers, pesticides, soil conservation, Sudan
Cotton production plays an important role in the livelihood of farmers in the Gezira Scheme in the Sudan. It is the main cash crop produced in the scheme. However, sustainability of cotton production in the Gezira Scheme has been a worrying issue, specially, after the noticeable deterioration of the cotton production industry in the last few years. This study aimed to assess the environmental sustainability of cotton production in the Gezira Scheme as perceived by farmers who are the direct beneficiaries of the scheme. Understanding farmers’ perspective can help to adopt relevant policy for improving sustainable cotton farming system. Data was collected using interview schedule and analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The indicators employed include use of fertilizers, pesticides, farm machinery, soil conservation practices, and availability of water at farm level. The level of environmental sustainability of cotton production was found to be moderate or fairly sustainable. Education level and farmers’ age were negatively correlated with environmental sustainability whilst family size was positively correlated with environmental sustainability however; the correlation magnitudes were negligible. The study found adequacy of irrigation water, the appropriate use of pesticides and soil conservation practices as the main contributing factors to the moderate environmental sustainability of cotton production in the Gezira Scheme. Since farmers are not rational in some practices, the study recommended that the Sudanese Ministry of Agriculture and managers of Gezira Scheme should educate and support cotton farmers in the scheme to adopt integrated soil conservation practices with minimal but efficient use of heavy farm machinery.