The Agronomic Efficiency of the N.I.A.E. Mechanized Tied Ridge System

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Macatney, J. C
Dagg, M.
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A tied ridge system of hand cultivation has been practised successfully in parts of Tanzania for many years. Equipment to mechanize this system was devised and constructed by the National Institute for Agricultural Engineering, U.K., particularly for use in areas of marginal rainfall where water conservation is essential. Agronomic trials with this equipment were carried out on three soil types in Northern Tanzania. Records from resistance units showed much better penetration of rainfall under tied ridges than under flat cultivation. Corresponding yield responses in maize were only obtained when the increase in available water made an appreciable difference to conditions of water stress at the time of tasselling and silking. Weeding operations using a ridging body achieved a satisfactory control. After a few modifications to the equipment, especially the incorporation of a small tine to rip the bottom of the basins to improve infiltration, the system of cultivation based on ripping, ridging and tieing proved to be an adequate alternative to ploughing and harrowing for seed bed preparation, and a much more efficient method of water conservation.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 7, p. 279-294