The purpose of this paper is to assess the sustainability of a forestry management strategy in checkmating desert encroachment and it also examines the impacts of the Forestry II program on agricultural productivity in the rural communities.
The study adopted a quantitative approach in assessing the rural farmers’ level of participation in the Forestry II program in which 201 respondents were interviewed in the study area. Structured questionnaires’ were also administered to afforestation officials/extension workers in the two states regarding the different components of the projects and probable cause(s) of failures/successes as well as the level of involvement of the community in the project. Field observations of the project sites were also carried out with a view to examining the level of achievements on the physical components of the projects.
The findings of this study revealed that, involvement of the stakeholders and participation of the community was lacking at the early stage of the program and the negligence of indigenous knowledge as well as the influence of bottom up approach was not incorporated in the project. The study further revealed that, appreciable positive impacts have been recorded at various levels of its implementation. The improvement of livelihood of the rural people through increased forest products supply was noted, fuel-wood and poles supply were also increased and this had gone a long way in creating employment for the rural dwellers.
The study involved the establishment of shelterbelts, windbreaks, woodlots, orchards and nurseries which were complimented by social forestry, and which raised public awareness through campaigns such as school forestry programs, forestry extension services and a fuel-wood conservation program.
The study articulated success and failure as well as a detailed assessment of the Forestry II project. The study showed that government could significantly combat desertification in the arid zones through sustainable afforestation if adequate resources were employed.
The authors would like to acknowledge the research support received from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia under the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Scheme for the Project “Community-Level Management of the Effects of Landuse/Land Cover Changes on the Magnitude and Frequency of Flooding.”
Nasiru Medugu, I., Rafee Majid, M., Johar, F. and Sinami Taiwo, I. (2014), "Assessing the impact of Forestry II program on agricultural productivity in the Arid Zone of Nigeria : A case of Kano and Jigawa State", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 783-801. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-05-2013-0038Download as .RIS
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