Microcatchments increase yields
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CTA. 1988. Microcatchments increase yields. Spore 14. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44819
Farmers in Somalia's northwest region have recently completed trials which show that a new water retention system increases their yields for less work. Farmers had been using standard bunds to conserve soil and use available rainfall more...
Farmers in Somalia's northwest region have recently completed trials which show that a new water retention system increases their yields for less work. Farmers had been using standard bunds to conserve soil and use available rainfall more efficiently. Last year, a field engineer, Kenneth Proud, tried another method. He got farmers to plant only a small area above existing bunds. Then the remainder of the land was smoothed and used as a microcatchment which supplied water to the cultivated area. The ratio of cultivated land to catchment area is crucial. Soil type, degree of slope, and rainfall must also be taken into consideration. With sorghum requiring between 450 and 650 mm of rainfall to produce a good yield, the catchment area had to be three times the size of the planted field. Each field has above it a catchment area that feeds water solely to that field. In the trials the smaller, but better-watered fields yielded the equivalent of 1,869 kg per hectare. Yields on 100 traditional farms were about 230 kg per hectare. Not only were yields better but inputs were greatly reduced. Farmers have now asked the World Bank for help in extending the system. Source: New Scientist February 4 1988 New Science Publications Commonwealth House 1-19 New Oxford Street London WC1A ING U K