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Innovafrica-Sorghum-Legume trials lindi

Cite this dataset

Amuri, Nyambilila (2022). Innovafrica-Sorghum-Legume trials lindi [Dataset]. Dryad.


Ensuring food security in small-scale farming requires improvement of productivity of food crops to ensure access of food in local communities. the objective of the sorghum-legume demonstration trial was to demonstrate the performance of proven Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI) practices in terms of yield, soil quality and labour efficiency. A farmers-led field trails were conducted in Nachunyu and Mmumbu villages in Lindi district, Tanzania. The SAI technologies validated include:  i) Treatment 1: Conventional tillage – farmers practice, consisting of hand hoe cultivation, residue were removed, no herbicides applied (hand hoe weeding) and continuous sorghum  ii) Treatment 2: Conservation tillage dibble stick, retention of crop residues but no herbicide use (traditional weeding), and cropping system of continuous sorghum, applied fertilizers and no burning of residues; iii) Treatment 3: Conservation tillage using dibble stick, retention of crop residues, applied herbicide immediately after planting , but continuous sorghum, applied fertilizer (NPS) and no burning of residues; iv) Treatment 4: Conservation agriculture with legume-sorghum rotation, tillage dibble stick, retention of crop residues, apply herbicide roundup soon after planting followed by traditional hand hoe weeding when needed after crop germination, apply fertilizers (NPS), started with sorghum in  season one (1) 2017/18. Soil samples were collected before the trials and after the trials. Data collected includes grain yields and residue biomass. 


In both seasons, crop yield and biomass were collected during harvest in a 6-meter square area in each plot. All legume grains were weighed after de-shelling and weighed. A sub sample of grains (sorghum and legumes) were taken and transported to SUA to determine moisture content and the grain yield was adjusted to 14 to 13% moisture content. In 2017-2018 no sorghum grain yield was recorded as all grains were damaged by birds, hence only biomass yield was recorded. In 2018-2019 season, no sorghum yield was recorded due to poor germination of sorghum, which led to no crop establishment in Hamasa demonstration plot at Nachunyu village and birds damage in Mkombozi and Hiari demonstration plot. In the first season 2017-18 a regional average yield was collected from published Agricultural Statistics while in 2018-19 season, farmers in Lindi were interviewed to report their yield of crops harvested in 2018-19 season.

Composite soil samples were collected before planting at 20 cm depth in each experimental plot. A composite soil sample was obtained by mixing 5 samples randomly collected from the farm. In each farm two composite samples were collected. The composite soil samples were placed in a clean plastic bag, transported to Soil Science lab at SUA Morogoro. At the lab, the soil samples were air dried, ground to pass through 2-mm sieve for physical and chemical analysis. The samples were analysed as summarised in Table 3.3. Before planting for second season 2018-2019, composite soil samples were taken from each plot, transported to SUA Soil Science lab for determination of soil pH, OC, Total N, available P, CEC and exchangeable bases using same methods as in Table 3.3.

Tabel 3.3: Soil analysis methods

Soil parameter




Bouyoucos hydrometer method

Day (1965)

pH (H2O)

pH meter

McLean, (1986)

Organic Carbon (%)


Walkley and Black (1934)

Total N (%)

Kjeldahl procedure

Bremner and Mulvaney, (1982)

Ava. P (mg kg-1)

Bray I /Olsen method


CEC (cmolc kg-1)

NH4Ac saturation and distillation-Titration

Chapman (1965)

K+ (cmol kg-1)

NH4Ac saturation and flame photometer

Thomas (1986)

Mg2+ (cmol kg-1)

NH4Ac saturation and atomic photometer

Thomas (1986)

Ca2+ (cmol kg-1)

NH4Ac saturation and atomic photometer

Thomas (1986)

Na+ (cmol kg-1)

NH4Ac saturation and flame photometer

Thomas (1986)

* CEC: Cation Exchange capacity, PBS: Percent base saturation

Usage notes

MS word and MS Excel


European Commission, Award: 727201