Soils in Tanzania
Tanzania has a total area of 945,000 km2. Inland lakes have a total coverage of 59,000 km2 (6% of total area) and the remaining land covers 886,000 km2 (94% of total area). Despite of the complex climatic and topographic setting, the country has sufficient land to allow substantial growth in agricultural production including Push-Pull intensification. However, land degradation in form of physical loss of soil through erosion and decline in soil fertility through continuous cropping without replenishment by organic manure and mineral fertilizers are the major setbacks to agricultural production in Tanzania. Any attempts to improve and expand agriculture in Tanzania should invest in betterment of soil fertility improvement and crop husbandry practices including resilient soil and crop improvement options such as Push-Pull technology.
Recent developments in Tanzania emphasise the adoption of more holistic, participatory and community based approaches for enhancing sustainable economic growth. Reliable land resources information is one of the major requirements for implementing this approach. Therefore deliberate measures were made to ensure availability of reliable land resources information at national, regional and district levels.
Major Soils and their potential for agriculture in Tanzania
Tanzania adopted the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB) as the system for soil nomenclature and correlation.
According to the WRB, Tanzania has 19 dominant soil groups. The structure, concepts and definitions of the WRB are strongly influenced by (the philosophy behind and experience gained with) the FAO-UNESCO Soil Classification System. The dominant soil groups are presented in Table 1, download the PDF here for more information.