Soil Chemical Characterization and Fertility Status in Selected Irrigation Schemes in Unguja and Pemba Isles, Zanzibar
A survey was undertaken to assess the soil chemical properties and fertility status in selected irrigation schemes in Unguja and Pemba Isles in October, 2017 during the short rainy seasons. These schemes include Dobi, Kwalempona, Machigini and Ole in Pemba and Bandamaji, Kibonde Mzungu, Koani, Mchangani and Mtwango in Unguja. Soil sampling was done after the soils were grouped into similar pedons following pedogeomorphic approach whereby fifteen and ten mapping units were delineated in Pemba and Unguja respectively. Using zigzag sampling techniques, nineteen composite samples were collected in quadruplicate at a depth of 0 – 30 cm from the delineated pedogeomorphic units at a radius of 20 m around the soil pits. Soil samples were bulked, thoroughly mixed, sub sampled to obtain a representative sample, packed and sent to NSS laboratory for analysis. The results showed significant difference in fertility status in the selected irrigation schemes. The pH was rated as neutral to strongly acid and or very strongly acid. Of the 25 surveyed mapping units (MUs), 47% were rated as medium acid, 26% as strongly acid, 11% as slightly acid and neutral and 5% as very strongly acid. Per cent OC was high in 21%, medium in 63% and low in 16%. In Machigini irrigation scheme, a third of the MUs was rated as having high % OC compared with the two thirds with medium values. Nitrogen was very low in 89% and low in 11% of the surveyed MUs. Whereas that all the surveyed MUs had N below the threshold value (< 2 g kg-1), 84% had low P and 16% has medium levels of available P. CEC values were rated as medium in 32%, high in 16% and very high in 53% of the MUs surveyed. The C:N ratio suggested that SOM was of poor quality in 89% and moderate in 11% of MUs and all the MUs had C/N ratio outside the suggested range. Nutrient balance shows that Ca/Mg ratio in 58% of the MUs was optimal for most crops and 42% was non-optimal. In conclusion, the soil fertility status and overall information from this study could be used in project irrigation design and fertilizer management studies to establish nutrient and drainage requirements for rice and other crops grown in these areas.
Joachim HJR Makoi,
Soil Chemical Characterization and Fertility Status in Selected Irrigation Schemes in Unguja and Pemba Isles, Zanzibar, International Journal of Applied Agricultural Sciences.
Vol. 4, No. 3,
2018, pp. 60-70.
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