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Tropentag, September 18 - 20, 2019 in Kassel

"Filling gaps and removing traps for sustainable resources development"

The Benefits of Mixed Farming Practices in Tanzania

John Mathias Mangana, Amina Hamis Baisi

Tanzania Development Organisation, Tanzania


Mixed farming is an agricultural system in which a farmer conducts different agricultural practice together, such as cash crops and livestock. The aim is to increase income through different sources and to complement land and labour demands across the year. Mixed farming systems can be classified in many ways. They can be based on land size, type of crops and animals, geographical distribution, market orientation, and so on. Three major categories are distinguished here. On-farm mixing enables the recycling of resources generated on a single farm. Between-farm mixing can be used to resolve waste disposal problems where by crop farmers use dung from animal farms for fertiliser.
Mixing within Crops and/or Animal Systems involve multiple cropping or keeping different types of animals together. For example, grain-legume association can provide grain with nitrogen. With plant inter-cropping farmers can make the most of the space available to them by selecting plants and cropping formations that maximise the advantage of light, moisture and soil nutrients. Examples of mixed animal systems include chicken-fish production where chicken dung serves as fish fodder.
In a diversified system some components exist as independent units. In an integrated system, maximum use is made of resources, making the system highly interdependent. Advantages of Mixed farming: it enhances the productivity of the farmer and reduces dependency on external inputs and costs. In the example of mixed cropping of animal husbandry and crop farming the crops and animals components can complement and support each other Mixed farming technology contributes to adaptation to climatic change because the diversification of crops and livestock allows farmers to have a greater number of options to face the uncertain weather conditions associated with the increased climate variability. Mixed farming can also give a more stable production because if one crop or variety fails, another may compensate. Livestock represents a means by which families can save and invest in the future. Livestock is a walking bank of assets that can be sold during periods of need such as if crops fail due to drought or flooding. This technology allows greater food security and improved household nutrition levels. In addition, farmers can generate a surplus of some products that can be sold at market. Among other benefits, this technology also allows farmers to grow fodder for livestock and poultry. An additional benefit of mixed rice–fish culture systems is that the fish may help reduce populations of existing and emerging disease vectors such as mosquitoes.

Keywords: Mixed farming, Tanzania

Contact Address: John Mathias Mangana, Tanzania Development Organisation, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, e-mail: mangana1967@gmail.com

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