Sustainable Land Management Paradigm: Harnessing Technologies for Nutrient and Water Management in the Great Lakes Region of Africa
Basamba, Twaha Ali
Tumuhairwe, John Baptist
Tenywa, John Stephen
Mwanjalolo, Jackson Gilbert Majaliwa
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Sustainable Land Management (SLM) is one of the transformative pillars for agricultural development and environment conservation for food, forage, fuel and fiber security. It aims at the tripartite benefits of high yields, environment protection and income security. The success of SLM is a function of adopting appropriate nutrient and water management practices. Several land management practices have been practiced by smallholder farms in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. However, there is still limited understanding of the level of acceptability of the various technologies in mitigating soil water shortage and nutrient depletion. This paper evaluates the SLM concept with focus on assessing sustainability in the use of various soil water and nutrient management technologies and practices. Nutrient management technologies assessed included a range of common inputs and practices in tropical farming systems. Soil water conservation technologies assessed included the physical, biological and agronomic measures. Analysis conducted suggest that few land users can afford to adopt most of the available technologies that define a full package for realization of the pillars of SLM. Integrated use of technologies remains the appropriate approach to responding to the alarming challenge of land degradation. Inclusion of social-cultural and economic factors in the application of SLM technologies of soil, water and nutrients is fundamental for increased adoption. Policies for SLM should target integrated technologies centered on people in order to achieve the ultimate goal of enhanced agricultural productivity, environment conservation and income in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.