International Journal of Environmental and Rural Development
Online ISSN : 2433-3700
Print ISSN : 2185-159X
ISSN-L : 2185-159X
Farmers’ Perceptions on Soil Degradation and their Criteria to Adopt Soil and Water Conservation Strategies in Ovche Pole Region in North Macedonia
Author information

2020 Volume 11 Issue 2 Pages 12-19


Ovche Pole is a region in Macedonia where the main economic activity of people is agriculture. Moderate-continental-sub-Mediterranean climatic conditions are prevalent in the area. However, based on the data for average annual precipitations (P) and potential evapotranspiration (PET), the region has aridity index of 0.64, thus it is classified as dry sub- humid and vulnerable to desertification. The region is dominated by agriculture land which takes 62% of total area, followed by forests and pastures that takes 22.55% and 14% respectively. Vertisols are the dominant soil type, taking 51.24% of total area in the region. Climatic conditions, together with the unsustainable agricultural practices highly influence the process of land degradation, especially soil degradation in the region. The key for success of any land restoration activity is the involvement of local communities. Understanding the farmers’ perceptions on this issue is crucial for development and implementation of sustainable resource management strategies. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to: (i) assess farmers’ perceptions on different types of soil degradation and (ii) examine farmers’ perception and motivation for adopting new SWC practices. A semi-structured questionnaire was developed and distributed to farmers to gather primary data. Out of total population of 375 registered farmers, following convenience sampling method, 102 farmers took a part in the questionnaire survey. Secondary data on climate/weather, land use, soils, demography was obtained from published or unpublished sources. The results of the study show that farmers could observe different soil degradation process on their land. Most of the farmers perceived decline in soil moisture retention as most intense and most significant problem. For majority of interviewed farmers, the main criteria to adopt SWC are the increased financial benefits and gains from the new measure and financial incentives provided by government institutions.

Content from these authors
© 2020 Institute of Environmental Rehabilitation and Conservation Research Center
Previous article Next article