Analysing the effectiveness and determinants of local conservation practices for landscape restoration in Luweero, Central Uganda
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Land degradation characterized by soil erosion and a decline in soil quality is a major constraint to Uganda’s agricultural sector. The trends can be reversed through adopting effective conservation measures targeting land scape restoration. The overall goal of this study was to establish existing conservation practices and develop more suitable practices, which can be used for policy formulation on landscape restoration on Luweero landscape. .Specifically, the study sought to analyze the dominant forms of land degradation and their drivers existing local conservation practices and their effectiveness towards land scape restoration. A cross sectional research study was undertaken using a mixed approach where simple random sampling was employed in selection of the households for interviews and purposive sampling on the key informants. Data was collected through field surveys, interviews and direct field observations and then analyzed using thematic content analysis were descriptive statistics. The study findings revealed that soil erosion, deforestation, bush burning, biodiversity loss were the most common forms of land degradation in the area. The determinants of conservation practices include age, size of the household, access to credit, farm size, education levels. Age and family size were the most influential contributing 35% and 25% respectively. These influenced adoption of practices like afforestation, mulching, cover cropping, crop rotation, use of artificial fertilizers, and manure application among others. Mixed cropping was found to be the most adopted practice with 25% contribution. Based on normal approximations, the conservation practices for land degradation were statistically significant with P-values of 0.000. The study b observed approximate T for Pearson R (9.963) and Spearman rho correlation (9.282) values. This implied that, continuous promotion of a combination of conservation practices adopted by communities would lead to increased halting of land degradation in the study area. This indicates that continuous promotion of mulching, mixed cropping, agro-forestry and use of cover crops will increase conservation practice by 9.963. An increase by 9.963 is, therefore, significant for conservation practices in the study area. The study therefore confirms that, continuous fallowing, agro-chemical use, building channels, crop rotation, use of cover crops will increase conservation practices in the study area.