Soil nutrient flow dynamics in the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro: a case study of Machame north ward in Hai district, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
Soil fertility conservation and management practices are critical to agricultural production as they contribute to the soil productivity, which is important for improving food security and livelihood of the people. Traditional and Modern Environmental Knowledge Systems (TEKS and MEKS) practices supported by the prevailing land use related policies play important role in improving land resources. Inadequate return of nutrients to compensate for losses when crops are harvested and residues are removed is common in most parts of Africa leading to land degradation. The objective of the study was to establish the link between nutrient flow, management practices and land productivity under different agro-ecological zones in the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. Questionnaire interviews, focus group discussions and transect walks were mainly used to identify and analyze the traditional and modem soil fertility practices. The Questionnaires were used to collect information on qualitative and quantitative data based on household farming activities. The Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) methods generated spatial, temporal, socioeconomic and institutional data. Soil samples were taken for nutrient analysis The findings reveal that some of the existing farming practices continue to degrade the land. The sustainability of the coffee/banana farming in middle and upper zones and maize/bean in lowland zone is decreasing due to insufficient and poor return of nutrients removed during harvesting. It was also revealed that farmers are aware of the various soil conservation policies but lack of participation during policy-making leads to poor performance of the policies. TEKS and MEKS practices affect farm level nutrient flow dynamics across the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. Decreasing soil productivity across and within the zones is hence a function of the two technologies. It is recommended that farmers should integrate TEKS and MEKS practices to improve soil productivity. Government should encourage the participation of land users in land related policy-making so as to improve their performance.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF S604.T34M3)
Soil nutrient, Flow dynamics, Slopes
Mambo, M.J (2004) Soil nutrient flow dynamics in the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro: a case study of Machame north ward in Hai district, Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.