Effect of soil and land characteristics on the arable land of Breweries and Agricultural Research Company (BARC) farms, Zalaki, Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, North Central Nigeria
- By John D, Gasana G Q - 08 Dec 2022
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemical Engineering, Volume: 2, Issue: 2, Pages: 21 - 27
- Received: 10.5.2022; Accepted: 22.5.2022; First Online: 30.6.2022
Soil Erosion and nutrient depletion are major threats to food security and the sustainability of agricultural production in sub-Sahara Africa. The problem of soil erosion, especially in the rocky terrain of Jos-Plateau is enormous due to high altitude. Estimating soil loss and identifying hotspot areas support combating soil degradation. Soil loss parameters for the study area were computed using USLE model in the Breweries and Agricultural Research Company, (BARC) farms in Central Nigeria. The annual rainfall was used to calculate the rainfall erosivity factor, soil data was used to calculate the erodibility factor, remote sensing topographic data was used to generate the slope length and gradient factors, and cover crop and conservation practice factors were obtained from available soil details nomographs. Finally, the parameters were integrated with tools to estimate soil loss rate of the study area. Mean annual soil loss rates were estimated to be between 4.2 to 5.09 t ha-1 yr-1 on the three catchments which were separated based on slopes steepness. The total annual soil loss was determined to be 16603.58 tons from the watershed and the annual soil loss rate of the study area was 5.09 t ha-1 yr-1. Although this could be said to be below tolerable soil loss rate of 11 t ha-1 yr-1, the scenario and the circumstances around the study area indicates the figures are dangerous to the food production if conservation practice is not improved. Desert encroachment, climate change, overgrazing and other vices shoed the severity of erosion which required immediate action of soil and water conservation.
Keywords: BARC farms, Soil loss, erosivity, erodibility, crop factor