Sokoine University of Agriculture

Soil quality and agricultural sustainability in semi-arid areas

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dc.contributor.author Mkonda, M. Y.
dc.contributor.author He, X.
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-07T18:23:24Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-07T18:23:24Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.uri http://www.suaire.sua.ac.tz/handle/123456789/2784
dc.description.abstract Soil quality and agricultural sustainability are required to feed about nine billion people by the year 2050. To feed such a population, the planet ought to increase food production by 60%. To attain agricultural sustainability, there should be a balance among biophysical, economic and social dimensions under which soil quality is a core aspect. It is worthwhile to explore soil quality versus agricultural sustainability in sub-Saharan countries because the population is expected to increase by 80%. This chapter reviews the current agronomic practices in countries characterized by semiarid agro-ecological zones and their implications to soil quality and agricultural sustainability, using Tanzania as a case study. We found that agro-pastoralism based on maize, sorghum, millet, sheep, cattle and cow is a current dominant agricultural system but with low yields. Monoculture has contributed to the degradation of soil quality. Drought has raised issues to already stressed ecosystems and made rain-fed agriculture a vulnerable and unsustainable livelihood for smallholder farmers. This situation has reduced the per capita grain harvested area from 0.6 to less than 0.4 ha and thus, affected for more than 70% the smallholder farmers’ livelihoods. Fortunately, areas using fertilizations of animal manure and other organic soil management practices have increased soil fertility and crop yields from 0.82 tn ha−1 under no-fertilization to 1.8 tn ha−1 under organic fertilization. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Springer Nature Switzerland AG en_US
dc.subject Agricultural sustainability en_US
dc.subject Climate change en_US
dc.subject Ecology en_US
dc.subject Food security en_US
dc.subject Nutrient use efficiency en_US
dc.subject Organic fertilizations en_US
dc.subject Semiarid en_US
dc.subject Smallholder farmers en_US
dc.subject Soils quality en_US
dc.subject Tanzania en_US
dc.title Soil quality and agricultural sustainability in semi-arid areas en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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