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Soil and water conservation in Semi-Arid areas of Tanzania: national policies and local practices
Hatibu, N;|Lazaro, E. A;|Mahoo, F. B;|Rwehumbiza, F. B;|Bakari, A. M / 1999


production of high water demanding but high value crops such as rice and vegetables. It is proposed that sustainable adoption of soil and water conservation practices in semi-arid areas of Tanzania requires polices and strategic that; (i) ensure strict but fair customs, rules and by-laws; (ii) lead to appreciable direct tangible benefits to the individual; and (iii) emphasis the management and conservation of the scare rainwater. The paper concludes that there is an urgent On the basis of agricultural potential, it is estimated that more than 50% of land in Tanzania is semi-arid or arid due to three main factors. Namely; low amount of rainfall, high evapotranspiration rates and erratic temporal an spatial distribution of rainfall. The objective of this paper is to assess the extent to which different macro policies relevant of soil and water conservation relate to the local realities in semi-arid areas. A historical analysis of the relevant policies, strategies and programmes was conducted and supplemented with case studies conducted in three districts, namely Dodoma, Same and Shinyanga. The findings from the analysis of trends show that adoption of soil and water conservation practices is affected by many factors but with two being critical; namely; (i) rules and regulations and their enforcement; and (ii) benefits to the individual. The results further show that there has been a gap between the emphasis given in macro-policies, strategies and programmes, on one hand and what is really practiced by farmers in semi-arid areas. For example, while policies, strategies and programmes have put more emphasis on drought resistant crops and erosion control. Farmer have directed their efforts to the effective management of rainwater for the need to re-orient Soil and Water Conservation strategies and programmes pursued by government in semi-arid areas; so as to focus less on drought-resistant crops and tree-planting and more on soil-water management practices such as rainwater harvesting.

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