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CA in Tanzania: the case of Mwangaza B CA Farmer Field School (FFS) Rhotia Village, Karatu District, Arusha, Tanzania. Wilfred Mariki
Mariki W L1, Marietha Z O1, Kassam A2, Kienzle J2, Friedrich T21 FAO CA SARD Project, SARI, P. O. BOX 6024, Arusha, Tanzania Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org 2 Agriculture Department, FAO, Rome, Italy
INTRODUCTION Agriculture in the economy of Tanzania accounts for 60% of the export earnings and 84% employment of the rural population. It provides food crops, at 55% of the total agricultural GDP, livestock at 30%, and traditional export crops at 8% In Karatu district, crop and livestock production are by far the most important economic sectors employing over 90% of the labour force
However, it is a common practice for farmers in Tanzania to graze or remove all crop residues from their fields after harvest. It is followed by conventional tillage for land preparation using hand hoe, oxen or tractor plow. This practice leaves the soil bare and susceptible to water and wind erosion, leaving unfertile and degraded soil which results to poor crop production.
Degraded soils resulting from conventionaltillage in Arusha Tanzania. Conventional oxen plowing Soil erosion Degraded Soils (Left with poor soil and huge gulleys) Poor crop production
Intervention & approach used In view of the above problems, in 2004 CA SARD (Conservation Agriculture - Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development) project intervened in the Rhotia village in Karatu district.Karatu district is one of the five districts in the Arusha Region, located in the northern part of Tanzania with 102,573 ha of arable land. The administrative headquarters is in Karatu town, approximately 150 km west of Arusha town.
Fig 1: Case study site Karatu district in Arusha Region in Tanzania
Intervention cont…….. Farmers in Farmer Field Schools (FFS) were taught about Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a sustainable way of growing crops and managing soil health that conserves the soil and maintains or enhances soil fertility and productive capacity.CA comprises three principles applied simultaneously, namely: Minimum mechanical soil disturbance, Permanent soil organic matter cover, Rotation/crop association /diversification
Methodology The 1st phase (2004-2006) of the project covered three districts -- Arumeru, Karatu and Bukoba. The dissemination approach was based on Farmer Field Schools (FFS). In the 2nd phase (2007-2010), the project continued with up-scaling of CA as a Sustainable Land Management tool with CA-FFS groups. The project extended to Babati, Hanang, Moshi districts and Meru council in Arumeru district.
Methodology cont..... The project provided training on CA concepts and FFS methodology to extension workers who became facilitators of the FFS groups. Training was also provided to farmers on how to apply CA practices which included the use and maintenance of CA implements, running FFS groups etc.
Methodology cont..... The FFS groups were assisted with the start up CA equipment which included sub-soilers, rippers, jab planters, Direct Animal Planter (DAP), zam-wipes etc. During the first season FFS groups received 10 kg of maize seed, 8 kg of Dolichoas lablab seed, 1 litre bottle of glyphosate herbicide, and stationery (note books, pens, pencils, erasers, flip charts and maker pens).
Methodology cont..... Oxen ripper Oxen direct planter Oxen sub-soiler Maize and lablab Maize crop matures Maize crop is harvested cover cropResidue management Lablab cover crop 100 % lablab cover Re- start by ripping/rollerchopping/slashing/herbicide followed by seeding maize and cover crop
Methodology cont... To facilitate the promotion process the project enhanced the supply and availability of CA equipment to FFS groups, by stimulating private sector participation in the manufacturing, retailing and hiring of appropriate equipment including jab planters, rippers, sub-soilers, DAP and zam wipes. Each group tested various CA options depending on their priority problems. Mwangaza B FFS tested five practices, namely:
Farmers CA Technologies tested Ripped plot, planted with maize intercropped with lablab Ripped plot, planted with maize intercropped with pigeon pea Non ripping plot, planted with maize intercropped with lablab Non ripping plot, planted with maize intercropped with pigeon pea Farmer’s normal practice; ploughing twice, then planting maize intercropped with pigeon pea, beans and pumpkins Each plot was 0.2 ha in size.
Results and discussions 31 FFS groups comprised 765 farmers were formed. Together with some spontaneous FFS founded by farmers themselves the total number reached 44 FFS at the end of the 1st phase. During the 2nd phase, 85 new FFS were established, making a total of 129 FFS. By 2009, the project reached more than 3,600 farmers .
Results and discussions cont... For the case of Mwangaza FFS, the most preferred option was: ripped plot direct seeded with maize and intercropped with Dolichos lablab. It gave the highest maize yields, conserved moisture, and controlled soil erosion. The 2nd most preferred option was: ripped plot planted with maize intercropped with pigeon- pea which also gave high maize yield, controlled erosion, high litters from dropping leaves, improved soil fertility.
Results and discussions cont ... The 3rd most preferred option was: non-ripped plot, planted with maize intercropped with Dolichos. The farmer practice was the least preferred option due to its low yields, high cost and time of managing the crop. Control of insects in Dolichos and pigeonpea was done through the use of mixture of different herbs prepared by farmers themselves. Due to good management of soil, currently farmers of Mwangaza B are no longer using inorganic fertilizers. This has been replaced by the use of Dolichos and/ or pigeon pea which fixes significant amount of nitrogen (200 kg N per ha).
Results and discussions cont ... Weeds were well managed by ensuring that the soil is continuously covered by crop residues and/or cover crops as well as slashing and /or hand pulling of the weeds; no herbicide is used. Dolichos as cover crop softened the soil and changed it into darkish colour due to increase in soil organic matter. Good water infiltration, increase in earthworm population, reduction in evaporation and soil fertility improvement were observed. Farmers also reported that pigeonpea successfully breaks soil hard pans.
Results and discussions cont ... Table 1 and Figure 2 indicate that maize yields under CA increased from 2.05 t/ha in 2004 and 7.22t/ha in 2006 to 14.0 t/ha in 2009. Farmers experienced reduction in labour by 40% and time requirement in farm operations by 50% after one season of CA. This was brought about by reducing number of operations during land preparation (using rippers), planting (using direct planters), weeding (using cover crop + roughing ) etc. Table 2: shows reduction of labour and time for farm operations in Mwangaza B Marera sub-village.
Results and discussions cont ... CA technologies have been adopted on 7,000 acre (2,857 ha) in the northern zone of which 600 acres are within and outside Rhotia village in Karatu district. The adopted practices include pigeonpea, 90% of adopters, Dolichos 30%, ripping 30%, crop rotation 60% (CA SARD, 2009).
Conclusion and recommendation CA as practised by Mwangaza B FFS and other farmers in Tanzania indicates positive elements that can help reduce the problems of drought, low soil fertility, poor yields and labour, resulting into higher yields, income and improved livelihood. Partners are encouraged to join hands with CA SARD project to promote CA. This would make a major contribution towards combating climate change, and fighting hunger and poverty, hence reaching the Millennium Goal of halving hunger by 2015.
Fig 2 Yield trends in Mwangaza B CAFFS Average maize yield in T/ha 16 14 12 10 8 6 Average T/ha 4 2 0 2004 2006 2009
Operation/acre Conventional tillage Conservation Agriculture Time Labour Time LabourLand 8 hours 4 persons 3 hours 2 personspreparationSeeding using 7 hours 6 persons 2 hours 2 personsDAP Weeding 2 days @ 9 4 persons 1 day @ 8 2 persons hrs hrs