Effects of Soil and Water Conservation on Selected Soil Physicochemical Properties and Its Implication on Soil Productivity in Ethiopia. A Review

Leta Hailu


Soil erosion and land degradation have been a severe problem in the Ethiopian highlands due to dense population, high livestock density and intensive crop production in the area. Soil and water conservation practice is one the mechanism used to reduce soil and associated nutrient loss; thus, reduce the risk of production. Efforts were started through soil and water conservation strategy at a large scale on farmland since the mid-1970 and 1980’s. However, its effectiveness depends on specific site conditions. Therefore, reviewing the effects and implication of the soil and water conservation practices on selected soil physicochemical properties and soil productivity is essential. The study conducted in various part of the country showed that the implemented soil bund reduced annual runoff and soil loss at different rates. Soil and water conservation have improved the soil physicochemical properties on conserved cropland (BD, SMC, infiltration rate, clay content, pH, CEC,  av. K, av. P, SOC and TN) than in the adjacent cropland without soil and water conservation measures. In contrast, the constructed soil and water conservation has shown no significant variations as compared to adjacent cropland in a study conducted at Dawuro zone, Southern Ethiopia. Soil and water conservation, reduce the removal of fertile topsoil and improves soil moisture, which favors crop growth as a result grain yield of the crops were increased at various rates based on agro ecology, crop type and local management practices. In general, the effect of constructed soil and water conservation had clearly showed positive impact on selected soil physicochemical properties and crop yields. Therefore, maintenance of the existing soil and water conservation structures is highly recommended to sustain its benefit, productivity and production; hence, improve the livelihood of the community.

Keywords: land degradation, soil and water conservation, soil properties, soil productivity.

DOI: 10.7176/JEES/9-5-02

Publication date:May 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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