Soil fertility survey in Western Usambara Northern Tanzania

17 Nov 2020

Soil samples from thirty sites representing four agro-ecological zones in the Western Usambara Mountains (WUM) of the Lushoto District in northern Tanzania were collected and analyzed for different nutrients. The results suggested that the major soil fertility constraint was P deficiency. On the basis of critical levels established in other areas, 90% of the soils were ranked as P deficient. This was followed by N, which was ranked as inadequate in 73% of the sites. Magnesium, K, and Ca also appeared limiting with 67%, 53% and 50% of the soils falling below the established critical values, respectively. A few soils (10%) were also found to contain exchangeable Al. The metallic micronutrients (Cu, Fe, and Zn) were adequate in all soils. Two sites had excessive Mn that could lead to toxicity in crops, and one was Mn deficient