The land suitability of the soils of Thai Model Vil lage Farm, Gikindu Location, Murang’a District
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The Thai Model Village Farm is located in Mirira Su b-Location, Gikindu Location, Kiharu Division, Murang’a District. The farm falls in agro -climatic zone IV which is classified as semi- humid to semi-arid. The mean annual temperature ran ges from 22 to 24°C. The area is characterized by two short cropping seasons with an average annual rainfall of between 980 and 1100mm. However, The area experiences a rainfall de ficit in most months. The landform and geology of the area are minor valleys and alluvium (derived from Basaltic Agglomerates). Soil drainage is a major land limitation while clim ate and soil fertility are minor limitations for commonly grown crops in the area. Improvement of th e soil drainage conditions and application of manure at the rate of 4tons/acre and compound fe rtilizer (17:17:17 at 100kg/acre) are recommended management practices in order to improv e land suitability of the farm. During the time of soil survey, two soil mapping un its, with 0 -1% slopes were identified. Soil mapping unit VAC1 is currently moderately suitable (S2) for maize, beans, sunflower, passion fruits, water melon, capsicum, mangoes, citrus, avo cados and pawpaw due to mainly drainage, climate and soil fertility limitations. The potenti al suitability of these soils for most crops is considered to be highly suitable (S1) after land im provements (drainage, manuring and use of fertilizers). The soil mapping unit VAC2 is currently marginally suitable for maize, beans, sunflower, passion fruits, water melon, mangoes, citrus and avocados d ue to mainly drainage, climate and soil fertility limitations. For capsicum and pawpaw, cur rent suitability is marginally suitable to provisionally unsuitable (S3-NS1) due to severe dra inage and temperature limitations. The potential suitability of these soils for most crops is considered to be highly suitable (S1) after some improvements through improvement o0f drainage, manuring and use of fertilizers. However, for citrus and pawpaw the unit is moderate ly suitable to highly suitable (S2-S1) due to temperature limitations. For maize and sunflower, drought resistant varietie s can be used while irrigation is recommended for high value horticultural crops in order to boos t production.
- Faculty of Agriculture