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Using Local Resources to Improve Soil Fertility in Tanzania

J M Wickama, J G Mowo

Discussion paper, 14 pages

Despite their concern about declining soil fertility, farmers from the Tanzanian village of Kwalei use very little mineral fertiliser to improve crop yields. A PRA study revealed that this was because it was considered too expensive. As their livestock could not produce enough farmyard manure for their needs, farmers coped by using the leaves of certain local shrubs as green manure which seemed to improve soil fertility. Since the scientific name or nutrient content was unknown, an inventory was made of this local source of nutrients. Participatory research methods revealed important findings about local knowledge and the participatory approach used in this study also enabled farmers to become more involved in the scientific analysis of the results.

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