Mechanization status in the Lake Victoria Basin of East Africa
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The study evaluated the mechanization status in the Lake Victoria Basin (LVB) of East African countries namely; Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Baseline survey was conducted using semi-structured questionnaires. Initial soil physical and fertility analysis were conducted. It was established that tractor mechanization is not highly practiced while draft animal use is widely practiced in the study areas. Soil physical characterization showed that, the soil largely lay between loamy sand and sandy loam. The changes in soil texture with depth were significant (at 5% level) whereby the clay contents increased with depth indicating clay alleviation. Water content also increased with depth. The differences were not significant but this shows that, under proper rooting environment, more water could be harvested from the lower B-horizons. Soil strengths were high, ranging between 1.1 and 2.0 Mg/m3 and increased with depth. Although the differences in soil strengths with depth were not significant (at 5% level) the means at the 15-30 cm depth were high at 1.5677 Mg/m3. This indicates the need for sub-soiling and ripping to initially break and shatter the hardpan. In all sites; % C was very low (mean of 0.5790%), % N ranged from poor to medium with a mean of 0.1193%, P (ppm) was medium to high with a mean of 6.02 and the pH was medium (mean of 7.2). Hence, there is need to further evaluate conservation tillage practices and other appropriate technologies in mechanization and possibilities of their introduction in the LVB.