MEANING OF BUSH FALLOWING
Bush fallowing is a system of subsistence agriculture in which land is cultivated for a period of time and then left uncultivated for several years so that its fertility can be restored.
MEANING OF FALLOW LAND
Fallow land is a land that is left dormant between planting seasons in order to allow the soil to regenerate its mineral base. In general terms fallow means a field where nothing in growing.
FEATURES OF BUSH FALLOWING
- It is mainly practised by peasant farmers.
- It involves the use of crude implements like cutlass and hoe
- The family is the main sources of labour
- It is common in rural areas with abundant farmlands
- Productivity per unit of land or per unit of labour is low
- Food crops like yam, maize, cassava etc. are grown
- Farmlands are left to fallow after one or two years of cultivation
- It uses slash or burn method for land preparation
- It is mainly for family consumption or subsistence
- It is practiced where population is very low
- Pests and disease are not controlled
- The "slash and burn" method of clearing the land is practised.
ADVANTAGES OF BUSH FALLOWING
The main advantage of Bush Fallowing is the fact that It is low cost since the equipment used are simple. Other advantages include:
- It ensures continuous sustenance during periods of crop failure
- It can be used to check soil erosion, leaching and weed growth
- It is very easy to practice as low technology as required
- It aids the natural restoration of soil nutrients during the fallow period
- It helps to control plant and diseases and pests
DISADVANTAGES OF BUSH FALLOWING
- There is no provision for expansion In Bush Fallowing, as it does not lead to mechanisation
- It leads to wastage of land
- It leads to the destruction of valuable forest resources like timber
- It leads to land fragmentation due to increase in population
FACTORS MILITATING AGAINST BUSH FALLOWING IN NIGERIA
- The population is fast increasing, hence a reduction in the size of farmlands
- The land is also becoming scarce due to increase in population
- The practiced of mechanised agriculture now discourages bush fallowing
- There is no increase in the use of technology
- There is no intensive use of fertilizers and manures
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