Soil and water conservation practices in the Uluguru mountains: the influence of high value crops promotion

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


In western Uluguru Mountains, professionals have introduced soil and water conservation (SWC) practices which, if properly followed, would conserve the soil and promote agriculture. Various high value crops (HVC) promotion interventions and others which could serve as incentives were executed to aid attainment of this objective. Despite these efforts, today, in most fields we see more of annual ridges, the conventional farming practice which is not effective in SWC and other forms of unsustainable agriculture practices. This study sought to determine the influence of HVC promotion interventions on investment in SWC in Mgeta. It also investigated whether or not appropriate incentives for overcoming adoption barriers have been used. Data were collected through unstructured interviews, observations and interview schedules. Descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regression were the main methods of analysis. Results were as follows: Age, education and income; farm size and slope have significant influence on investment in SWC. Household size, labour force and occupation were not significant. Land security was the number one incentive followed by agricultural sustainability, farm implements, extension services, irrigation improvement, labour sharing and suitability for growing HVC. The four lowest incentives were rewards and prizes, market development, food-forwork and credit. From regression analysis introduction of HVC had the highest predictive effect on investment in SWC followed by irrigation improvement. Slope and income were also significant. Recommendations are as follows: Promote SWC measures which are cost-effective and can be integrated into existing farming system and promote HVC for cultivating on terraces. In this respect, contour strip cropping,


MA-Theis in Rural Development


Soil and water conservation (SWC) practices, High value crops (HVC) promotion, Uluguru mountains