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Björsell, Pia, 2014. Soil carbon in small-holder plantain farms, Uganda : a comparison between agroforestry and non-agroforestry. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Soil and Environment

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Abstract

Smallholder farmers in Uganda suffer from declining productivity. With a rapidly increasing population, marginal land is taken into production and the current land
management leads to loss in soil fertility and escalation in soil erosion. There are studies indicating that the use of agroforestry increases soil organic carbon (SOC)
compared to systems without trees. Soils which are high in carbon have many advantages, for example better water holding capacity, which can reduce stress on
crops during drought.

The aim of this study was to determine the effect agroforestry has on SOC concentration in small-holder farming systems in Uganda. The intended system to
study was farms practicing agroforestry methods or not in intercropped plantain (cooking banana) fields. The hypothesis was that the practice of agroforestry leads
to a higher concentration of SOC. Field work was conducted in Kkingo region, Masaka, Uganda. Ten farms, of which five agroforestry and five non-agroforestry, were selected in cooperation with Vi Agroforestry. At each farm, soil samplings were taken close to a tree and in the middle of the field, respectively, to the mass equivalent depths of 0-20 and 20-40 cm. In total, 40 samples were analysed at Makerere University in Kampala for SOC concentration, water holding capacity, electrical conductivity, pH and texture.

The results showed no significant difference in SOC between agroforestry and non-agroforestry. Other uncontrolled differences between farms and random variation probably masked potential effects of the categories agroforestry respective nonagroforestry.

More comprehensive studies with a larger sample of carefully selected pairs of farms would be needed for being able to quantify the impact of agroforestry on SOC.

,

Småskaliga lantbrukare i Uganda lider av produktionsnedgång i jordbruket. En snabbt växande befolkning leder till att utmarker i allt större grad tas i bruk och nuvarande skötselmetoder leder till förluster i markbördighet och ökad jorderosion.

Det finns studier som tyder på att agroforestry ger en ökning av kolhalten i marken jämfört med system utan träd. Jordar med högre kolhalt har flera fördelar, som
exempelvis en bättre vattenhållande kapacitet, vilket underlättar för grödor att uthärda stress vid torka.

Syftet med denna studie var att undersöka effekten agroforestry har på markens kolhalt i småskaliga lantbruk i Uganda. Systemet avsett att studera var samodlad
kokbanan med och utan agroforestry principer. Hypotesen var att agroforestry principerna leder till högre kolhalt i marken än icke-agroforestry. Fältarbete utfördes i
Kkingo regionen, Masaka, Uganda. Tio gårdar valdes ut i samarbete med Vi Skogen, varav fem agroforestry och fem icke-agroforestry. På varje gård togs jordprovtagningar
nära ett träd respektive mitten av fältet, till mass-ekvivalenta djup på 0-20 och 20-40 cm. Totalt 40 jordprover analyserades vid Makerere Universitetet i Kampala
för kolkoncentration, vattenhållande förmåga, elektrisk konduktivitet, pH och textur.

Resultaten visade inte på några signifikanta skillnader i markens kolkoncentration mellan agroforestry och icke-agroforestry. Stor variation i andra brukningsfaktorer
mellan gårdar inom respektive grupp samt slumpmässig variation dolde troligen potentiella effekter av kategorierna agroforestry respektive icke-agroforestry.
Det skulle behövas mer omfattande studier med ett större antal av noggrant utvalda parade gårdar för att kunna kvantifiera påverkan agroforestry har på markens kolhalt.

Main title:Soil carbon in small-holder plantain farms, Uganda
Subtitle:a comparison between agroforestry and non-agroforestry
Authors:Björsell, Pia
Supervisor:Dahlin, Sigrun
Examiner:Kätterer, Thomas
Series:Examensarbeten / Institutionen för mark och miljö, SLU
Volume/Sequential designation:2014:01
Year of Publication:2014
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:NY003 Agricultural Programme - Soil/Plant 270 HEC
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
(S) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
Keywords:Soil carbon, agroforestry, Vi Agroforestry, Vi Skogen, small-holder farming, plantain, Uganda
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-2998
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-2998
Subjects:Cropping patterns and systems
Soil biology
Soil fertility
Language:English
Deposited On:24 Jan 2014 13:33
Metadata Last Modified:24 Jan 2014 13:33

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