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Prosper Inyasi Massawe
Kelvin M. Mtei
Linus K. Munishi
Patrick A. Ndakidemi
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Prosper Inyasi Massawe
Kelvin M. Mtei
Linus K. Munishi
Patrick A. Ndakidemi
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World Research Journal of Agricultural Sciences

Existing practices for soil fertility management through cereals-legume intercropping systems

Prosper I. Massawe*, Kelvin M. Mtei, Linus K. Munishi and Patrick A. Ndakidemi

Department of Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity Management. The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 447, Arusha, Tanzania.

Department of Water and Environmental Sciences. The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 447, Arusha, Tanzania.

Accepted 08 November, 2016.

Citation: Massawe PI, Mtei KM, Munishi LK, Ndakidemi PA (2016). Existing practices for soil fertility management through cereals-legume intercropping systems Nigeria. World Research Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 3(2): 080-091.

Copyright: © 2016. Massawe et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Abstract

Low crop production has been attributed to inherently low availability of plant nutrients, nutrient imbalances and inadequate soil moisture for plant growth. Past and current soil management practices have enhanced the degradation of the soils. These have been caused by increased withdrawal of plant nutrients from the soil and consequently to reduced plant growth. To meet future food requirements, it is inevitable that the use of inorganic fertilizers will continue to increase. However, such fertilizers are expensive to farmers and they are potential environmental pollutants. The intensification and diversification of the cropping systems and traditional practices in Africa have compounded the decline in soil fertility. To raise and sustain soil fertility and productivity in Africa, appropriate traditional soil fertility management practices have to be developed and adopted by farmers. Cereal-legumes cropping systems accompanying management technologies indicated the advantage of these technologies and their function of socio-economic and bio-physical conditions. This review explored the mechanisms and processes associated with soil fertility management, effect of intensive agriculture on soil degradation, role of traditional and scientific knowledge, benefits, challenges and additional cereal-legumes cropping systems. These contributed to understanding the effects soil fertility management decisions and human-use impacts on long-term ecological composition and function.

Key words: Intercropping, Cereal-legumes, Nutrient management, Soil degradation, Sustainable farming, Traditional knowledge