Population, natural resources and agriculture production: a case of mountainous zone of Mwanga district, Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study on population, natural resources and agricultural production in the mountainous zone of Mwanga District, aimed to examined the impact of population increase on land resource, agricultural production, fuel wood and water. It was prompted by the need to examine the main effects brought up y need to examine the main effects brought up by population pressure in Mwanga district and other parts of Tanzania which have similar characteristics with that of the study area. The researcher interviewed 300 households of which 2408 respondents were obtained. The main instrument used in data collection was a closed ended questionnaire. An in.-depth study, using open ended questions was also used. More information for the study was obtained from the district administrators in Mwanga district Through using population pressure indicators put forward by Hance (1970 ; 417-8 ) and by calculating the carrying capacity of the wards, conclusion reached suggest the existence of population pressure in the area. In the study area population is found to increase at 2.1 percent per annum while the size of individual farm holdings decreased during the past decade. Hence population increase and the decrease in farmland per family made many households ready to migrate to other areas ( i.e .rural and towns). Farmers open farms outside their villages and use the available land within the vicinity of their homestead more intensively: Stall keeping method and mixed farming system were advanced to the introduction of a new breed of cattle ( i . e . Frisian and Jersey). The above measures served to curb pressure on grazing land. Integration of cattle rearing and crop cultivation allowed the use of manure. Chemical fertilizers were hardly applied and Pesticides were only used by coffee growers . The findings have indicated that the primary factor for low agricultural production and fuel wood shortage in the shady area is population pressure on resources. With more people living in villages, walking distances to fuel wood and rams were increasing. Furthermore , it was noted that farmers do not strongly adhere to good crop husbandry practices in their distant farms due to distance . For example , a very small group of farmers ever used chemical fertilizers. Long walking distance, poor crop husbandry and crop protection during pre-harvest time contributed to declining yields . Although irrigation is beneficial and preferred by the farmers, terrain hinders this practices. Finally several recommendations are made. These include resource conservation, proper planning of the villages and slowing population growth by controlling fertility.
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Agriculture, Natural resources, Population, Environmental aspects, Tanzania
Kimolo, M.A. A (1994) Population, natural resources and agriculture production: a case of mountainous zone of Mwanga district, Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at ( )