Efforts by small-scale farmers to maintain soil fertility and their impacts on soil properties, Luwero District, Uganda
Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda; Noragric, Agricultural University of Norway, P.O. Box 5001, N-1432 Aas, Norway
Low soil fertility remains a major reason for rural poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. In light of the need to set priorities and formulate development policies, this study investigates efforts by farmers in central Uganda to maintain soil fertility, factors affecting their capacity to act and impacts on soil fertility parameters. Using questionnaire-based interviews and soil chemical analyses, information from 60 randomly selected farms was collected in four subcounties. Farmers use traditional conservation methods like legumes, crop rotation, cover crops, fallow and agroforestry in addition to applying manure, ash, mineral fertilizers and concoctions to improve soil fertility. Most farmers construct some soil bunds. Limited access to supplies, markets, credit and extension service, labor and organic materials are limitations to their ability to maintain soil fertility. Present application of fertility measures are clearly insufficient and are not reflected in soil fertility parameters. Copyright © 2006 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
farming system; soil conservation; soil fertility; soil property; Africa; East Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Uganda