Anne Nyambura Karuma, Joyce Wambui Njuguna, Patrick Thuku Gicheru


Background. Pedology is the study of soil genesis in its natural state. One way to assess the strength and productivity of a scientific field is to measure the number of publications over time. The number of soil papers published worldwide has almost doubled in the last ten years. However, that has not been the case in Eastern Africa, where this review is conducted. The scarcity of research in pedology motivates this study. Objectives. To review and analyze trends of publications in pedology/soil survey for the last ten years in (2010 - 2019) in Eastern Africa. Methodology. A search of scientific literature using Google and Google Scholar was conducted from 2010 - 2019. The search terms used were - soil survey, soil characterization, pedological characterization, and each of the Eastern African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Sudan). We then scrutinized the abstracts to find quantitative data on geographical locations. Additional articles were reviewed by checking through the reference lists of relevant studies in the peer-reviewed articles. Results. 56 scientific articles, 3 MSc/PhD theses reports, and 4 project reports/ proceedings were included for the full review. Out of this, 39 journal papers were identified and reviewed based on the years they were published, and the countries where they were published. Most articles were published in 2018. The data was then split into two segments, from the years 2010 - 2014 and 2015 - 2019. Between the years 2015 to 2019, a total of 36 articles were published compared to the years 2010 to 2014 where a total of 15 articles were published. This shows a slight increase in publications for the years under study. From the 56 articles, Ethiopia records the highest number of published articles from various journals having a total of 25 papers constituting 45% closely followed by Tanzania, having 27% equivalent to 15 papers. Kenya comes third in the overall ranking at 13% with 7 papers. The last three countries are Sudan, Rwanda, and Uganda with 10%, 3%, and 2% respectively. Implications. The results suggest that pedology seems to be a disappearing skill in the Eastern Africa region. Though there has been a spike in publications from 2015-2018, the current situation must be improved as there are limited publications from 2010 - 2019. Conclusion. The study shows that there have been a low number of publications in Eastern African countries. Ethiopia which has the highest number of publications shows the most promise in soil pedology publications. There is a need for an increase in pedology research which is important for agricultural production and land use planning.


pedology; publications; Eastern Africa

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