Physical Land Evaluation Of Chonyi-Kaloleni Area,Kilifi District, - With Emphasis On The Suitability For Cashewnuts And Coconuts
A physical land evaluation was carried out on 13,000 ha in the Chonyi-Kaloleni area, Kilifi District, following the guidelines outlined in the framework for land evaluation. The present land use in the area ranges from ranching to cultivation of both annual and perennial crdps. The alternative land utilization types (LUTs) for which the suitability of land was assessed include cashew, coconuts, maize, grass, cashew-dairy cattle, coconut-dairy cattle, maize-dairy cattle, coconut cashew and beef cattle-cashew associations, all at an intermediate level of technology. As a basis for the physical land evaluation, a soil survey at a scale of 1:50,000 was carried out. The soils of the study area were delineated into six teen mapping units. The dominant soils are VERTISOLS, ARENOSOLS, FERRALSOLS, ACRISOLS, LUVISOLS and NITOSOLS. Other soils include GLEYSOLS, LITHOSOLS, FLUVISOLS and CAMBISOLS. The following land qualities were used as diagnostic criteria to assess the suitability of each mapping uni t for the relevant LUTs: availability of moisture, nutrients and oxygen, rootabili~y, suscepti bility to erosion, workability of the soil and in addi t.Lon ;: the harmful effect of August-December rain- fall for cashew. The suitability of each unit was determined by matching the requirement of each LUT with the rated land quality through conversion tables. The well drained soils including FERRALSOLS, ACRISOLS, LUVISOLS, NITOSOLS and ARENOSOLS were, in general, moderately to marginally suitable for cashews, 1 coconuts, maize and grass for dairy cattle and highly to moderately suitable for beef cattle. Poorly and imperfectly drained soils including VERTISOLS, GLEY SOLS, gleyic and vertic LUVISOLS were not suitable for coconuts and cashews. Finally land use recommendations for each mapping unit were made taking into account social, economic and cultural factors together with present land use, nutritional requirements and the physical suitability of each unit. Coconut-dairy cattle associa tion is recommended for dystric NITOSOLS, chromic LUVI SOLS and orthic ACRISOLS; cashew-dairy cattle associa tion for rhodic FERRALSOLS and some orthic ACRISOLS; maize-dairy cattle association for ferric LUVISOLSi beef cattle-cashew association for ARENOSOLS; maize, other food and fodder crops for dairy-beef cattle for gleyic and vextic LUVISOLS, vertic CAMBISOLS, VERTISOLS and dystric GLEYSOLS.