Do Land Conservation Practices Have the Same Impact on Smallholder Maize Productivity? The Case of Bunda and Ileje Districts, Tanzania

Onesmo Selejio


This paper analyses the adoption of sustainable land management and conservation
practices (SLMCPs) and their contribution to maize yield using cross-section data from
two distinct agro-ecological zones: Bunda and Ileje districts, which represent Lake and
Southern highland zones with medium and high rainfall, respectively. It samples 15
villages from each district using both stratified and simple random sampling techniques,
with a total of 482 households. Descriptive analysis shows that most commonly adopted
SLMCPs in all the districts were sustainable agronomic practices (SAPs), with an
adoption rate of 91%. Other practices include soil water conservation and erosion control
(SWCEC) (75%), and the use of organic (63%) and inorganic fertilizers (49%). The
descriptive analysis and propensity score matching (PSM) results revealed that adopters
of SLMCPs and their interactions (with the exception of SAPs), particularly
intercropping, had higher yields than their counterparts (non-adopters). The yields
varied across SLMCPs and areas. These results imply that the provision of right
knowledge and promotion of the adoption of SLMPs and their interactions is pertinent
in increasing productivity. However, such initiatives in a given area should be backed
by local knowledge and research for effective adoption and sustainable productivity.


Keywords: conservation practices, maize productivity, cross-section data, propensity score


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