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Abstract, International Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Research, 2016

Soil and Water conservation (SWC) measures play significant role in improving land productivity. The study assessed contribution of soil and water conservation measures/techniques in land productivity in dry-land areas of Same District, Tanzania. The study investigated the relevance and effectiveness of SWC measures such as bench terrace farming, double digging and “Fanya juu1 /Fanya chini”. Qualitative and quantitative approaches were used to gather information for this study whereby a range of methods including Key Interviews, Focus Group Discussion, literature review and field observations were employed. The findings revealed that appropriate implementation of the SWC measures has significant impact in terms of increased crop yield, checking soil erosion and retaining soil moisture. The findings further revealed that Bench-terrace and “Fanya juu/Fanya chini” terrace farming were perceived by community members to have remarkably contributed in improving crop yield in the upland areas while application of double digging was commonly used and much better in improving land productivity in the low land areas of Same District. The findings showed cases where maize production was perceived to have increased from 8 to 18 bags per acre prior to and after application of the double digging technique respectively. The study concludes that if applied judiciously, SWC measures are instrumental in improving land productivity and could be potential in improving community livelihoods and they are thus, worth replicating to other dry land areas across the country.

Keywords: Soil and water conservation, perception land productivity, dry land areas, efficiency effectiveness