Impact of indigenous-based interventions on land conservation: A case study of a soil conservation and agroforestry project, Arumeru district, Tanzania

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Land degradation has been identified as a serious problem in Tanzania since the 1920s. Among the factors normally cited as contributing to land degradation are deforestation, overgrazing and inappropriate farming practices. Several attempts by the government to arrest the problem have been based on top-down approaches. Indigenous-based interventions are among the alternative practices adopted by the Soil Conservation and Agroforestry Project in Arumeru District, Tanzania. The main objective of this study was to assess the impact of the indigenous-based interventions on land conservation. More specifically the study intended to assess farmers’ perception of land degradation, the adoption rate of indigenous-based interventions, the impact of those interventions, and lastly the sustainability of those interventions. Data for the study were collected through Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) techniques and a questionnaire survey. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 1 ) was used to analyse quantitative data and Content and Structural-Functional Analyses were used for qualitative data. The study found that the rate of land degradation was perceived by respondents to be rather severe. The study also revealed that indigenous-based interventions, which require minimal labour and capital, have been highly adopted by many farmers while labour/capital intensive ones have been taken up by fewer farmers. In general, indigenous-based interventions appear to have eased farm operations and contributed towards increased crop yield, improved soil fertility and increased income. Success in some of the indigenous interventions warrants their wider promotion beyond the project area. Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.



Land degradation, Land/soil conservation, Indigenous-based interventions, Sustainable agriculture, Tanzania