Sustainable Farming Practices
- 19 Oct
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The year is soon coming to an end. This implies that the rainy season is around the corner for most parts of the country, while some have already received some showers in the past few days. For the farmer, this is a very important time of the year in which they prepare for the coming season. During this preparation stage, it is noble to think green, consider the environment and how it is impacted by your farming activities.
What Should Farmers Do?
- Avoid or minimise practices that result in soil erosion such as tillage. Traditional ploughing (tillage) prepares fields for planting and prevents weed problems, but can cause a lot of soil loss as it loosens soil particles leaving them vulnerable to wind and water erosion. No-till, reduced till or zero tillage methods, which involve inserting seeds directly into undisturbed soil, can reduce erosion and improve soil health.
- Adopting agroforestry practices. By mixing trees or shrubs into their operations, farmers can provide shade and shelter to protect plants, animals, and water resources, while also potentially offering additional income.
- Construction of conservation works such as terraces and contours. This greatly protects the soil from erosion especially by water in sloppy areas.
- Ploughing across slopes on steep land also goes a long way in reducing erosion.
- Plant vertiver, Katambora, couch, sporobulu (shambo) and star grass in gullies and eroded places and plant trees for conservation purposes and wind breaks
- Inspect grass buffer strips, contour ridges and storm drains for any damage caused by heavy rains
- Strengthen weak places in contour and remove the high spots in water channels
- Avoid stream bank cultivation. Observe 30 metre buffer distance from the highest flood level of all rivers and streams and dams when cropping.