Grain Yield and Yield Variability of Rainfed Lowland Rice with ‘Good Agriculture Practices’ in the Kilombero Floodplain of Tanzania
Julius Kwesiga1, Daniel Neuhoff1, Geofrey Gabiri2, Kristina Grotelüschen1, Kalimuthu Senthilkumar3, Ulrich Köpke1, Mathias Becker1
1University of Bonn, Inst. Crop Sci. and Res. Conserv. (INRES), Germany
Rainfed lowland rice is commonly produced by smallholder farmers in the floodplains of Tanzania. Erratic rainfall and uncontrolled flooding by spill-over of the river create conditions of unpredictable hydrology. Combined with a low N content of the predominant Fluvisols, N deficiency and unfavorable hydrology are major factors limiting rice production in floodplain environments, and can result in large yield variabilities. The variable and hence unpredictable outcome of farmers' investments is a major disincentive for adopting improved agronomic practices. We investigated rice crop management strategies that improve the use efficiency of water while adding the limiting N regrading rice grain yield and yield variability. Field trials were conducted in three hydrological zones (drought-prone fringe, middle and flood-prone centre positions) of the Kilombero floodplain in 2015, 2016 and 2017. We compared farmers' management (no field leveling and bunding, and no mineral or organic amendments) with different ‘good agricultural practices’ (GAP), which is a set of recommeded crop, soil, water and weed management practices including field bunding, land levelling, application of mineral fertilisers or organic amendments, and combinations thereof with no application of herbicide and pesticide. Grain yield and yield variability between positions, years and replications were assessed.
Keywords: Farmyard manure, field bunding, floodplain, green manure, mineral fertiliser, urea
Contact Address: Julius Kwesiga, University of Bonn, Inst. Crop Sci. and Res. Conserv. (INRES) - Agroecology and Organic Farming, Bonn, Germany, e-mail: kwesigajuliusyahoo.com