Journal of
Soil Science and Environmental Management

  • Abbreviation: J. Soil Sci. Environ. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2391
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSSEM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 287

Full Length Research Paper

Effects of soil conservation technologies in improving soil productivity in northern Ghana

Kugbe X. Joseph
  • Kugbe X. Joseph
  • Center for Development Research (ZEF), Division of Ecology and Natural Resources Management, University of Bonn, Walter Flex Str. 3, D53113, Bonn, Germany
  • Google Scholar
Zakaria Issahaku
  • Zakaria Issahaku
  • Faculty of Agriculture, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 28 May 2015
  •  Accepted: 28 May 2015
  •  Published: 30 June 2015

Abstract

A four year study was carried out to ascertain the usefulness of conservation agriculture (CA) technologies in improving biomass cover as well as the physical and chemical properties of the soil across 6 communities in northern Ghana. The conservation agriculture introduced include: Zero tillage, cover cropping, crop rotation and intercropping. Bunding was also introduced as a means of moisture retention. After four years of successful introduction and adoption of CA, soil and water evaluation study was conducted and compared with non CA fields. Parameters studied include: water infiltration, particle size distribution, bulk density, cation exchange capacity, exchangeable bases, exchangeable acidity, soil pH, total nitrogen, available phosphorus and soil organic matter. The results reveal an enhanced biomass accumulation and productivity of the soils with adequate N and P fertilization and moisture retention in CA fields compared to non CA fields. Conservation agriculture thus helps to temporally increase the productivity of soils toward a more sustainable crop production.

 

Key words: Conservation agriculture, crop production, soil moisture, tillage.