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Performance And Adoptability Of Mulching Technology To Control Soil Erosion: Case Study Of The Sebeya Catchment In Rwanda

Félicien Majoro
Romuald Bagaragaza
Concilie Mukamwambali
Philibert Nsengiyumva
Jean De Dieu Mutabaruka
Mathieu Ntakiyemungu
Claire Dusabemariya
Eric Buregeya Mbabazi
Jacqueline Nikuze
Jean D Amour Osiri
Athanase Twagirimana
Fidele Mbaraga


Soil erosion is a pressing environmental concern that poses significant threats to agricultural productivity, watershed health, and ecosystem stability. This research investigates the performance and adoptability of mulching technology as a Soil Erosion Control Measure (SECM) within the Sebeya catchment. This study employed various methods including a review of existing literature, on-site visits, structured interviews, and focus group discussions to evaluate the factors contributing to soil erosion, its impacts, and the variety of SECM within the Sebeya catchment. Among the 96 farmers surveyed in this research, it was evident that the natural reasons for soil erosion in the Sebeya drainage area were often attributed to the intense rainfall (23%) and steep slopes (22%). Also, the influence of lack of SECM and the continuous ploughing is significant with 22% and 22% respectively. The availability of mulching materials can vary significantly based on the geographic location, agricultural practices, and economic factors. In the Sebeya catchment, mulching materials often sourced from crop residues and vegetative residues. To address the risks associated with soil erosion, various site-specific measures were recommended. Using the Universal Soil Erosion Equation (USLE) model, the suggested Soil Erosion Control measures (SECM) were simulated with a significant decrease in soil loss, dropping from 73.05 t/ha/y to 19.62 t/ha/y. By incorporating mulching technology into the recommended SECM to mitigate soil erosion, the soil erosion rates reduced to permissible soil loss from 19.62 t/ha/y to 11.26 t/ha/y. To effectively reduce the high rates of soil erosion to acceptable levels within the Sebeya drainage area, this study advocates for the implementation of the recommended site-specific soil erosion control measures combined with mulching, drainage channels, and the stabilizing grasses on the same farmland. Implementing SECM stands as the optimal choice for enhancing soil productivity while reducing sedimentation in downstream rivers and lakes.



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eISSN: 2992-4464
print ISSN: 1118-0579