The Effect Of Bush Burning On Agricultural Land

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Engineering AE

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:

  • The government should help in prohibition of bush burning careless use of fire by enlightening the farmers and the public.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The government should also provide fertilizer to replenish lost nutrients during burning.

Chapter One


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?

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

The study have shown that bush burning have gradually resulted to reduction and loss of plant species, decrease in crop yield, loss of soil through erosion and reduction in volume of water reservoirs. Due to the detrimental effects of the bush burning in the study area, the environmental sustainability campaign is very important in order to protect our environment.

From the observation, cultural practice such as slash and burn method have both beneficial and detrimental effects on soil quality. From the study there was reduction in soil pH, decreased in silt and increase in sand contents, increase in SOC, SOM, TN, and avail. P, Ca, Mg, K. Na, decrease in EC and BS respectively in the burnt plot under study. However differences were observed in the level of the soil indicators, the differences were statistical significant because farming in the area was intensive and continuous through the use of traditional land preparation method called β€œslash and burn.

Bush burning is a multidimensional, only a collaborative effort will ensure protection, preservation of our environment. It is therefore, necessary for all government and non-governmental Agencies as well as private sector and individuals to join force together to fight the menace of bush burning that is threatening our continued sustainable livelihood. All hands must be on desk in preventing and controlling the consequences of this phenomenon on the ecosystem of Northern Nigeria Guinea Savannah of Edo State in order to have sustainable environment.

5.2 Recommendations

The problems of bush burning have to be addressed using the following recommendations:

1. Preventives Measures
  • Public enlightenment campaign through the press, Radio, personal contacts, posters, films and lectures, demonstrations, organization or co-operative groups and fire preventions lessons in school curricula should be embarked on. The information could be aired using local languages to enhance understanding.
  • Wildlife mortifications projects are encouraged in all States of the federation to improve the standard of living of the rural communities. For example, Grass cutter farming, Rabbits, Snail farming, Bee keeping, Guinea and Pig farming. These projects would help in reducing the rate of bush burning in searching for delicious palatable bush meat.
  • Establish of forest fire service units at the state, local governments and District levels.
  • They should be well staffed and funded.
  • There is the need to build fire towers at strategic places existing obsolete laws should be reviewed in line with the present development trend. Local communities should be adequately involved in reviewing and enforcing the laws of bush burning.
2. Control Measures
  • To Establish Man Power Developing Centres at the Federal and State levels for training and retraining of forest fire fighters and fire officers’ protection matters.
  • There is the need to involve traditional rulers in reporting cases of fire outbreaks and enlightenment and education of members of the local communities of the importance of this, that would generate adequate data on bush burning required for modeling fires in Nigeria.
  • Large scale land resource development projects (afforestation, forest reserves, national parks game reserves, recreational parks and range lands) should have a fire unit and that whenever prescribed fires are to be under taken for their management, such areas should first be traced.

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