Soil Fertility Status in Bukoba, Missenyi and Biharamulo Districts in Kagera Region, Tanzania
The study was conducted in three Districts of Kagera Region, Tanzania to assess the inherent soil fertility status of farmers' fields. Thirty-three fields, located three to five km apart, were selected and soil samples (0 – 20 cm depth) were taken, mixed thoroughly, air-dried, ground, sieved through 2 mm sieve, and analyzed in the soil laboratory based on standard laboratory analytical procedures. Correlation analyses among soil chemical properties were performed using IBM SPSS Statistic 20 and the mean values were calculated using Excel spreadsheet statistical package. Soil fertility index (SFI) and limiting nutrients were used to assess the fertility status of the fields. The results indicated that soil textures ranged from sandy clay loam to sandy clay, clay loam, clay to sandy. Soil pH ranged from strongly acid (5.1) to slightly acid (6.1) while EC levels were very low (0.03 - 0.17 dS m-1). Total TN ranged from very low to medium (0.04 - 0.41%), extractable P ranged from low to high (0.44 - 86.44 mg kg-1) and Exchangeable K ranged from very low to medium (0.08 - 0.98 cmol(+) kg-1). Exchangeable S ranged from low to medium (2.27 - 12.14 mg kg-1) while CEC ranged from very low to medium (5.20 - 23.00 cmol(+) kg-1), extractable Zn ranged from medium to high (0.85 - 18.41 mg kg-1), Cu from medium to high (0.47 - 2.81 mg kg-1), and Mn and Fe were medium (2.24 - 70.34 mg kg-1) and high (37.50 - 473.21 mg kg-1), respectively. The results also indicated both positive (r=+ve) and negative (r=-ve) and both significantly (p≤0.05) and highly significantly (p≤0.01) correlations among the soil chemical properties in each districts. Based on SFI, the soil fertility status of the studied fields ranged from poor fertility to good fertility. The results on the limiting nutrients across the studied fields indicated that N and K were the most limiting nutrients (67%) followed by P (52%), S (32%), Mg and OC (18%) and the least was Ca (15%). The results also indicated that N and P were the most limiting nutrients in Bukoba District while N and S were the most limiting nutrients in Missenyi District and N, P and K were the most limiting nutrients in Biharamulo District. Therefore, specific soil fertility management practices are recommended based on limiting nutrients in those fields having inadequate levels of plant nutrients together with training of farmers on proper use of the appropriate soil fertility management practices.
Mgeta Steven Merumba,
Johnson Mashambo Semoka,
Balthazar Michael Msanya,
Soil Fertility Status in Bukoba, Missenyi and Biharamulo Districts in Kagera Region, Tanzania, International Journal of Applied Agricultural Sciences.
Vol. 6, No. 5,
2020, pp. 96-117.
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