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Everline Komutunga, Wilberforce Tushemereirwe, Jerome Kubiriba, Priver Namanya, Kevin John Oratungye, David Akodi, Choice Agaba, Elizabeth Ahumuza and Daphine Kamusingize
National Agricultural Research Laboratories-Kawanda, P.O. Box 7065, Kampala, Uganda


Abstract: The effect of soil and water conservation (SWC) practices on controlling surface runoff and soil loss was studied in drought prone banana growing areas of Uganda, during the two major rainy seasons of 2014. The study was conducted at two sites— Ntungamo (Southwest) and Sembabule (Central), with comparable slopes of about 13%-25%. The treatments included mulch, manure, manure + mulch and a control with no conservation. Results indicated that conservation practices of mulch and manure + mulch significantly reduced surface runoff and soil loss by about 72%-85%, when compared to farmers’ up-and-down cultivation practice (control). It was also observed that significantly greater amounts of soil loss occurred from manure and control plots than the ones with mulch. Thus, the combination of manure and mulch is recommended for uptake by crop farmers in the study areas, if they are to overcome drought stress and adapt to changes in climate. More research is needed to quantify nutrient losses resulting from runoff under the different SWC techniques. Modeling such effects is essential in assessing the impacts of SWC practices on soil and crop productivity.

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