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Farmers’ Perceptions and Sustainable Land Use in the Atacora, Benin

Working paper, 45 pages
PDF  8109IIED.pdf (177.29 KB)

This paper examines farmers’ opinons on soil fertility decline and techniques for improvement in the Atacora, north-west Benin. These are linked to household composition and endowments, as well as farmers’ own actions. The study highlights farmers’ awareness of the impact of their farming practices on soil fertility, particularly in areas of high pressure on the land. Traditional fallow is still the most frequently used technique to combat fertility loss in the Atacora. However, the share of land in fallow decreases as difficulties with accessing new land increases. Here farmers are more willing to invest in other soil fertility measures compared to other areas, particularly chemical fertiliser and parking of animals, but actual adoption rates are lower because of smaller net crop sales and lack of animals. Farmers in these areas do tend to use more labour intensive techniques, although man-land ratios are not significantly higher than elsewhere in the region

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