The Principal Investigator from the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Prof Susan Nchimbi-Msolla, is glad to present a paper from the SUA FoodLAND team titled “Effects of biodegradable mulch films in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L) performance: On-station trials”, which was presented in the 3rd SUA Scientific Conference, held at the Edward Moringe Campus, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania, from 23rd to 24th May 2023. It has been published after peer review as the Proceedings of the 3rd SUA Scientific Conference on Enabling Environment in Agricultural Transformation.

The TAJAS volume 22 issue 2 as Special issue is now available online at

Different types of mulches have varied levels of efficiency. This study compared the effects of using biodegradable mulch films (BMF) in common bean production compared with selected types of dead mulches used in Tanzania. Two different experiments in four replications were conducted using a completely randomized block design on-station at SUA. In the first experiment, the treatments were BMF, pimento grass, maize straw and control. In the second experiment, the treatments were BMF, butterfly pea, maize husks, and control. Crop performance indicators including germination, number of leaves, plant height and number of pods were recorded weekly using 9 representative plants in each plot.

Results from the first experiment showed that BMF performed significantly better than other tested mulches in yield, weed control, branching, number of leaves, and number of pods. However, BMF did not do well in seed germination and plant height. Results from the second experiment showed that BMF had significantly better performance in terms of number of pods, grain bean yield, weed infestation control, plant height and number of branches. These initial results on the use of industrial BMF call for further research which may lead to the promotion of the use of these environmentally friendlier mulch films as compared to very slowly degradable plastic mulch films currently used in some farming systems in Tanzania.

Congratulations to the co-authors B.H. Massawe, L. Moisan, T. Semu and S. Nchimbi-Msolla.