Inderscience Publishers

In-situ soil moisture conservation: utilisation and management of rainwater for crop production

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

The salient results of in-situ soil water conservation technologies that have been found suitable for increasing soil moisture in the arid and semiarid lands of eastern Kenya are reviewed. The results showed that
Zai
pits,
tumbukiza
and deep tillage when used together with soil fertility improvement can increase crop yields by 4–10 times in comparison to conventionally cultivated fields. Use of tied-ridging with soil fertility improvement increases crop yields by 100–300%. Sub-soiling and ripping increases crop yields by 50– 100% when used with soil fertility improvement. Micro-catchment technology at 1:1 and 2:1 catchment to cultivated land ratio increase crop yields, but is not practised due to land limitation. Use of fertilisers and or manures with in-situ soil moisture conservation leads to improved water use efficiency by crops planted in the semi-arid areas. It was concluded that, in-situ rainwater conservation technologies should be part of the farming systems in the semiarid lands.

Keywords: in-situ rain water harvesting, soil fertility improvement, crop yields, semi-arid eastern Kenya

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