The study was undertaken to examine the effect of land degradation on agricultural activities in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta state. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used to select six communities mostly affected by land degradation and a total of sixty respondents (farmers) was use for the study. A structured interview schedule was used in collecting data from the respondents. Frequency counts, percentages, charts and mean statistics were used to analyze objectives 1, 2, 3, and 4. The result of the study revealed that greater percent of respondents were females, married and educated with an average age of 53.7 years. The average farming experience of the respondents was 18.9 years, family size of 7 and farm size of 1.2 hectares. The major perceived cause of land degradation in the area includes pollution, fire outbreak, unstable agricultural practices, oil spillage and oil exploration.
The major perceived effects of land degradation include decrease in farmland available for cultivation, reduction in farm yield (output), reduction in farmer’s income and loss of nutrients/organic matter. Based on the major findings, of the study it was recommended that awareness campaign on the proper use of agricultural land should be mounted at all levels and government should prevail on oil companies to pay compensation for farm lands lost due to oil spillage and exploration. Additionally, mopping up of oil spills should be enforced so as to punish the indiscriminate use of land, like bush burning, deforestation and so on.
Background information Land is the basic natural resource that provides habitat and sustenance for living organisms, as well as being a major focus of economic activities. Africa is endowed with enough land to undertake small and large-scale activities to strengthen household security, national development, trans-boundary cooperation and regional integration to transform trade, and create new opportunities for sustainable development which is sensitive to the environment and social economic issues.There are however, many threats and challenges which continue to undermine such progress limiting its potential. These include pandemics such as HIV/AIDS extreme weather events such as drought and floods, ineffective land-use planning, land degradation and desertification, invasive alien species attendant over exploitation of natural resources, limited foreign direct investment, Limited domestic investment and wasted opportunities, loss of revenue due to leakage in sectors such as tourism.Degradation of land refers to loss of its potential production capability as a result of degradation of soil quality and also its loss for effective use.