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Author: Flavia, Namagembe

Awarding University: University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Level : MSc

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Biochar ; Sugarcane ; Saccharum officinarum ; Bamboo ; Arundinaria alpina ; Soils ;


The economies of the three East African region (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania), which is the region of interest in this study still rely largely on rainfed agriculture accounting to approximately 80% of the total agricultural production. With the increasing threats from climate variability, the region is prone to extreme conditions of drought and floods. Inadequate soil moisture and low soil fertility have been the challenges facing rainfed agriculture in the region and several approaches have been employed to help manage agricultural water sustainably. Previous studies indicate that incorporation of biochar into sandy soil improves its water retention capacity. This study demonstrates how addition of biochar produced from different feedstock biomass of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum Linn) trash and bamboo (Arundinaria alpina) leaves and branches, all obtained from the region using both the laboratory controlled equipment at 350 oC, 450 oC and 550 oC and a traditional stove, to sandy soil has the potential improve the soil?s water holding capacity. This way, biochar can thus play a significant role in water management in agriculture in the East African region with the aim of reducing agricultural input and maximizing crop yields. For the traditional stove, it was difficult to control the temperature while producing the biochar but the highest steady temperature reached during production was recorded. The hydrologic properties including water holding capacity and hydrophobicity of sandy soil, biochars and soil-biochar mixtures were measured using the gravimetric method and the molarity of ethanol drop test respectively. Additionally, porosity was determined using the mercury porosimetry method in order to compare the pore size distribution of the biochars with their hydrologic properties. Biochars produced from different feedstock biomass under different production conditions varied in their hydrologic behavior and influenced soil?s hydrologic properties differently when added to it. The study demonstrates water retention increases in a sandy soil after addition of 2, 5 and 7 weight % biochar (20, 50, and 70 t ha-1 respectively).

Author: Ogola, William Otieno

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MSc

Year: 2006

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Water ; Groundwater ; Sugarcane ; Mumias, Kenya ;



Author: Wafula, Justus Otiato

Awarding University: Kenyatta University, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 2004

Holding Libraries: Kenyatta University Moi Library ;

Subject Terms: Labour force/Social classes/Workforce/Sugarcane/Farmers/Mumias, Kenya/ ;


The major objective of the study was to examine the impact of socioeconomic characteristics of workforce on productivity among the contracted outgrowers of Mumias Sugar Scheme, western Kenya. Data were collected from Mumias Sugar contracted outgrowers and their workforce based on sample of 30 contracted outgrowers farmers and 90 workers. Sampling was guided by stratified and systematic sampling, while data collection used a survey in which structurerd questionnaires were major data collection tools. Descriptive statistics were used to obtain frequencies, percentages and averages. Inferential statistics including chi-square were used to estimate the differences between groups and the extent to which the observations were significant and can be generalized to the population. Multiple regressions were used to identify impact of the various factors on productivity and other dependent variables. The findings of the study showed that farmers' age(s), education and work contract are the key socio-economic characteristics that account for productivity in the scheme. More important to the study was the impact of the socio-economic characteristics of the workforce on production and which the findings indicate that workers age(s) and education significantly influence production.