Integrated Soil Fertility Management Prospects for Soil Productivity and Food Security in Machakos County

  • Wamalwa S. W. Kenyatta University
  • Danga B. Kenyatta University
  • Kwena K. Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization


Integrated soil fertility management is the most cost-effective and time-efficient method of restoring soil fertility and increasing per capita yields on Sub-Saharan African smallholder farms. However, low acceptance has resulted from a lack of knowledge about the prospects of these strategies prior to promoting them. In 2016, the Mwania watershed in Machakos, eastern Kenya, was surveyed to fill this void. About 174 household heads were chosen using the “farmer-led adoption approach and a pretested structured questionnaire to obtain primary data on their household gender, education level, food security, cultivated land size, soil fertility practices, and constraints to determine the potential use of integrated soil fertility management practises at the watershed level. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 22 computer program for descriptive attributes. Relationships between dependent and independent variables were determined using the tobit regression model. According to the findings, 85% of households are headed by men, with over 82% being post-primary graduates, who are the main decision makers. The majority (83%) cultivate 2 ha and 57% acknowledged food insecurity, with 89.1%, 73.1%, and 45.1% blaming it on climate variability, limited soil moisture, and a lack of input access, respectively. Low fertility scored 40% at medium level with labour at 40% in low cluster constraints, could be because of high unemployment rates. Animal manure and chemical fertiliser use were reported at 95.5% and 76.6%, respectively, although they were using them separately, probably due to high cost, increased labour requirements, and accessibility problems resulting in continuous low yields. Therefore, huge prospects of integrated soil fertility management practices’ use exist in the Kenyan semi-arid, especially when promoted at community level.

How to Cite
S. W., W., B., D., & K., K. (2023). Integrated Soil Fertility Management Prospects for Soil Productivity and Food Security in Machakos County. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, 87(1 & 2), 8. Retrieved from