Title: CONSERVATION TILLAGE METHODS FOR SOIL EROSION CONTROL ON STEEP SLOPES: CASE STUDY OF SOUTHERN ULUGURU MOUNTAINS, TANZANIA
Authors: Mlengera, N., Mtakwa, P. W., Salim, B. A. and Mrema, G. C.
Abstract: Over 75 % of cultivated fields in the southern Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania, are situated on steep slopes exceeding 20 % resulting in high soil losses due to conventional farming practices. Conservation tillage methods of zero till, minimum tillage and soil cover were introduced on a 56 % slope to determine their effect on soil erosion. A factorial arrangement of treatments in a randomized complete block design (RCBD), comprising two factors i.e. tillage and soil cover was executed from 2013 to 2015. The best Conservation agriculture (CA) practice, i.e. strip tillage with cowpea intercrop (T3M3), significantly (P < 0.05) reduced soil loss by 50 (1.2 Mg ha-1) and 153 (0.2 Mg ha-1) times compared to the conventional practice (T1M1) (59.9 and 30.6 Mg ha-1) in the 2nd and 3rd years, respectively. It is concluded that CA technologies have the potential of controlling soil erosion on steep lands.