WATER-SMART AGRICULTURE: MANAGING RAINWATER INSITU FOR SUSTAINING ENVIRONMENT AND FOOD PRODUCTION IN TANZANIA

Available soil water management is critical for food production. Increasing climate variability attests importance of integrated systems of managing rainwater in-situ for crop production. This work attempted to improve tradition tillage practice by integrating practices, scientific knowledge and ideas in mitigating and adapting to climate variability. Integration of scientific ideas and technologies enhanced effectiveness in management of available soil water and soil productivity. Integrated cross-raised seedbed tillage practice, resulted into increased conservation of soil and water, built up of soil fertility and crops tolerance to prolonged no-rainfall spells. Subsoil available moisture increased from 17-23 mm in traditional practice plot to 43-62 mm in cross-raised seedbed practice plot. The soil organic carbon content increased from 19.4 to 25.2 g/kg in 0.1-0.2m soil layer of the raised seedbed as compared to increase from 19.4 to 20.8 g/kg in the same layer, of the traditional practice plots with organic materials incorporated. Productivity of bean and maize were significantly (p<0.01) increased by 46% and 108%, respectively, in integrated cross-raised seedbed tillage practice, compared to the traditional tillage practice. Profitability of using integrated cross-raised seedbed tillage practice is 105 to 125% over traditional farmer practice. The proposed future development should address constraints of input access by organizing smallholder farmers, linking them with micro-finance institutions and labour by mechanizing the cross-seedbed tillage practice to significantly increase uptake and impact in food production and environmental conservation in the face of climate change and variability. read more.....

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Integrated Agriculture Landscapes Management: Innovation Platform in Mbeya, Tanzania
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