Sustaining Biodiversity and Income against Climate Change through Food Value Chain System by the Small-Holder Farmers in Southern Nigeria

Charles Livinus Anija Asadu


Biodiversity and sustainable income are very necessary in ecosystem stability. The food value chain (FVC) introduced in Nigeria to transform agriculture is commendable because through the system farmers receive various incentives as highly subsidized inputs from government and loans of low interest rates from designated Agricultural Banks and Central Bank. However, the system encourages specialization in the production of the reference crops but intercropping and mixed cropping systems practiced by most small-holder farmers because of its inherent advantages is de-emphasized or completely abandoned. This paper presents the results of two surveys of sole pepper and maize growers in 2015 and 2016 respectively as affected by sudden stoppage of rainfall in Nsukka area. The analyses showed that on the average > 70 % of the pepper farmers lost ≈ 65 % of their pepper fields while ≈ 57 % of the maize fields were lost. For a substitute intercropping system, plantain yield data from plantain plus moringa intercrop trials carried out in 2014 and 2015 were analyzed and projected to incorporate a food crop within inter-alleys. The mean plantain yields from the trials were 20 kg plant-1 for fresh bunch and 7 suckers stand-1. Based on a 6 m x 5 m (≈330 plants ha-1) spacing and the 2016 prices of bunches and suckers, these yields translated to a minimum net income per annum of N 1 320 000.00 (N 330 000.00 from bunches and N 990 000.00 from 6 suckers (net) stand-1). Proceeds from the food crop, moringa seed and leaf extracts used as liquid fertilizer took care of the cost of other inputs and cultural practices. The inter-row spacing of 6 m allows mechanical cultivation of any food crop by the farmer. This system was considered a reliable insurance against climate change and pest insurgence and can be adopted by farmers in the entire southern Nigeria because both plantain and moringa can do very well in the subregion.

Full Text:



1. Asadu, C. L. A. (1989). A comparative study and evaluation of yam-zone soils and the performance of six cultivars of white yam (D. rotundata) in Southeastern Nigeria (Doctoral thesis). Nsukka: University of Nigeria.

[Google Scholar]

2. Asadu, C. L. A. (2002). Fluctuations in the characteristics of an important short tropical season, 'august break’ in Eastern Nigeria. Discovery and Innovation, 14(1), 92–101.

[Google Scholar]

3. Asadu, C. L. A., A.G.O. Dixon and S. C. Eze. 2014. Evaluation of cassava-based systems for adaptation to climatic variations in eastern Nigeria. Agro-Science, 13(2), 37–42.

[Google Scholar]

4. Asadu, C. L. A., Ucheagwu, H., & Asadu, A. N. (2012.). The reality of man-made food insecurity in Nigeria: A comprehensive analysis. Ibadan: University of Nigeria Press Ltd.

5. Deloitte. (2013). The food value chain. A challenge for the next century. Retrieved from

6. Dixon, A. G. O., & Asadu, C. L. A. (2001). Performance of seven crop combinations in two soils of different land-use history in eastern Nigeria. Agro-Science Journal, 2(2), 70–80.

[Google Scholar]

7. Mercola, J. (2015). The many uses of the mighty moringa tree. Retrieved from

8. Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. (2016). The Agriculture Promotion Policy (2016–2020). Retrieved from

9. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. (2016). Banana & Plantain. Retrieved November 2, 2016, from

10. Lansigan, F. P., & Salvacion, A. R. (2016). Assessing the Effect of Climate Change on Rice and Corn Yields in Selected Provinces in the Philippines. Agricultural Review, New Developments in Agriculture. Academia. Institute of Statistics, University of the Philippines, Los.

[Google Scholar]

11. National Horticultural Research Institute. (2016). Cropping systems with Plantain/Banana in Nigeria. Retrieved from

12. Okorji, E. C. (1986). Productivity of yam under alternative cropping systems adopted by small-holder farmers of southeastern Nigeria. Agricultural Systems, 22(3), 231-241.

[Google Scholar] [CrossRef]

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 C. L. A. Asadu

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.