Home Institution

Miami University

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Program Name

Tanzania-Zanzibar: Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management


Healthy soil is necessary for maintaining agricultural productivity, which is the basis of the economy on Pemba Island, Tanzania. Soil erosion is a notable concern for subsidence-farming villages, as it reduces the agricultural potential of farmland through the loss of nutrients, organic matter, and depth of quality growing soil (Georhing, 2009). The island of Pemba is the perfect case study for soil erosion, as their economy is largely based in agriculture, and the combined hilly topography and monsoonal climate make it highly susceptible to soil erosion. Yet, Pemba’s main cash crops are clove and fruit trees, which have potential to stabilize and protect soil. The purpose of this study is to make a quantitative estimate of annual soil loss throughout four farming villages in Pemba using the Universal Soil Loss Equation. Data was derived empirically through field work and satellite imagery analysis. Rates of soil loss were overall lower than predicted, with only a few sites in need of implementing further soil conservation practices.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Climate | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Studies | Soil Science


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