Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Abomey-calavi, Benin, Economics, Benin
Last year, a small farmer survey was carried out in Benin for deep understanding of the land use system in twelve villages. These villages were chosen in different districts according to specific criteria (Banikoara, Bassila, Dangbo, Djougou, Kétou, Klouékanmè, Matréri, Nikki, Ouessè, Parakou, Toffo, Zagnanado). A questioner was administrated to twenty farmers in each village. Different data related to the land use system were collected: composition of land, land prices, land use changes, cropping system, labour force, income and food security strategies. The aim of this paper is to give a global view of the land use systems in the study area. More specifically, we will discuss in a comparative basis:
The composition of land use and land price in each region;
The yield of the major food crops and its development during the last years;
The relationship between the yield and other variables such as fallow period.
The yield development after fallow;
The farmer's food production strategy ;
The importance of price in farmer's production strategy.
The data were processed by means of descriptive statistic tools.
The results show that:
The role of fallow period on the yield development vary from region to region and inside the same region from crop to crop.
Prices (buying or selling price) play a major role in the farmer's production strategy. However, the farmer's decision to produced specific food crop depend on its role in the household food supply strategy.
The study shows that cotton production decreased in many regions due to marketing related problems.
Keywords: Fallow, food crops, land use changes, Benin