Groundnut is an important crop in the farmers’ cropping systems of Benin and one of the selected crops to be promoted by Benin Government. The aim of the present study is to analyze the traditional groundnut cropping systems in Benin. Farmers’ socio-economic characteristics, cropping practices, farmers’ perceptions of climate change manifestations on groundnut were information collected using an open ended questionnaire. In total, 382 farmers in three agro-ecological zones (AEZ) of Benin Republic were selected according to 121 farmers in the cotton zone of the northern Benin (AEZ 2), 159 farmers in the cotton zone of central Benin (AEZ 5) and 102 farmers in the “terre de barre” zone (AEZ 6) in the south. Descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis were used to analyze data collected. Groundnut cultivation is mainly carried out by women in the AEZ 2, while in the two other AEZ, men are strengthly involved in the production. In the AEZ 5 and 6, groundnut is becoming nowadays a cash crop. Groundnut cultivation occupied less than 10% of the area owned by farmers in the AEZ 2 while it occupied more than half of the total area in the AEZ 5 and 6. Pod blank, pod attack by the termites were the main farmers’ perceptions of the climate change effect on groundnut cultivation which is related to soil drought. In general, the sex of the farmers, supply of mineral fertilizer, crop rotation, crop residues management and supply of household waste have a significant and positive effects on the groundnut yield level. The study suggested that, balanced plant nutrition could be a challenge for enhancing groundnut production in Benin.
Key words: Source of income, farmer perception, soil fertility, climate change, crop nutritional balance, crop residues management.
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