Report on agronomic practices and soil fertility analysis for improved rice production in the Kilombero and Wami Valley Area in Tanzania

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


USAID & Feed the Future


Tanzanian economy is dominated by smallholder agriculture accounting for more than 90% of rural employment with food crop production dominating the agriculture economy. Rice is the second most important cereal crop in Tanzania after maize and the majority of rice farmers depend on it both for food and cash (Bucheyeki et al., 2011; RLDC, 2011). Tanzania rank second as a largest producer of rice in Southern Africa after Madagascar with production level of 818,000 tons produced from 681,000 ha (USDA world rice statistics, 2007). Like in other food crop production, most of the rice production in Tanzania is undertaken by small scale farming. Small scale rice farming is characterized by many small holder farmers, cultivating small farms (0.5 to 10 acres), whereby rain fed accounts for 71% and traditional irrigation accounts for 29% of rice grown in Tanzania (RLDC, 2011). These small scale farmers use no or low inputs. The major constraints facing the rice production sector includes erratic weather condition and declining land productivity due to application of poor technology, inaccessibility of improved seeds, inherent low soil fertility and poor soil fertility management practices. As a result of these factors the average rice yield per unit area under small scale farms is 1.0 to 1.5 t ha-1. These yields are lower than yield in the developed countries which hikes to over 10 t ha-1 in some seasons (Bucheyeki et al., 2011). To increase rice productivity under small scale farming, identification of gaps between what is recommended for adequate rice production and what is practiced by small scale farmers is required. Most of the current recommendations in soil fertility management in rice fields are blanket. This is not helpful in extension services because as matter of fact, soils are variable and need different packages for their improvements in order to intensify rice production. Therefore, a survey at a somehow detailed scale is important to have area specific recommendations. This report therefore presents: a) Review of current fertilizer and soil management recommendations for rice in the study area; b) Current rice farming practices and their effect on soil fertility depletion in the study area; and c) Site specific soil fertility status and recommendation of measures to be taken in order to improve rice productivity.


Report on agronomic practices and soil fertility analysis for improved rice production in the Kilombero and Wami Valley Area in Tanzania


Cereal crop, Soil management, Agronomic practices report, Soil fertility analysis, Improved rice production, Kilombero, Wami Valley Area, Tanzania