Assessment of use, attitudes, constraints and impact of cattle manure on maize farming by smallholder farmers in Njombe Tanzania

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Maize is the most important staple food and cash crop in Tanzania. Cattle manure has become an important as a source of soil nutrients in situations where use of inorganic fertilizer is not affordable. In view of the apparent decline in soil fertility, deliberate efforts are required to promote utilization of cattle manure for crop production. The Main Objective of the study was to assess the use, attitudes, constraints, and impacts of cattle manure in maize farming in Njombe District. Specifically the study intended to (i) describe farmers’ practices on the production, management and application of cattle manure on their fields, (ii) To identify farmers attitude towards cattle manure (FYM), (iii) To measure farmers attitude towards bio-slurry, (iv) To measure farmers attitude towards inorganic fertilizer in crop production, (v) To identify constraints encountered by farmers on cattle manure production, management and utilization at a farm level and (vi) To determine the impacts on yield as a result of cattle manure use. Data were collected by interviewing farmers using semi-structured questionnaires as the main tool. The questionnaire comprised of closed and open ended questions. Descriptive, reliability, and inferential analysis was conducted using Statistical Package for Social Science version 12 and 16 respectively as a tool for analysis. Results revealed that farmers have positive attitudes on FYM, however, they hold negative attitude on bio-slurry and again farmers who grow crops only have positive attitude on inorganic fertilizer. Constraints identified were few cattle, lack of labour and high cost of labour as well as lack of manure transport. Use of cattle manure (FYM and bio- slurry) shows more yield than non-use at p≤0.05 level of significant. The majority of farmers preferred cattle manure to improved soil fertility.



Maize farming, Tanzania, Smallhoder farmers, Farmers' attitude, Cattle manure utilisation, Njombe