Removing salt from rice paddies
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CTA. 1999. Removing salt from rice paddies. Spore 84. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46558
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore84.pdf
A recent study visit by the leaders of the AgroBio AJAC/Kolda project (based in central Casamance, Senegal) to the famous Balante rice farmers of Guinea Bissau
A recent study visit by the leaders of the AgroBio AJAC/Kolda project (based in central Casamance, Senegal) to the famous Balante rice farmers of Guinea Bissau left them mighty impressed with new ideas for their own crops. Together with three NGOs (ICAP, RADI and PIC) they have developed some simple and inexpensive techniques to restore salinated rice fields in mangrove areas. First come the earthworks: dikes are built around the rice paddy, with removable plugs made of stakes, tressed branches or pressed earth to allow the paddy to flood and be drained. Then tree trunks are left to rot in the water, to be hollowed out and used as pipes. The salt is collected through a biological process: a mulch of straw and rice hulls is applied to the flooded plot, which is then drained. When the remaining moisture evaporates, the salt forms in crystals on the straw. These improved techniques mean that local families have a year-round supply of food. The villages of central Casamance have indeed benefitted from the experience of their Guinean neighbours. - Lamine Biaye AJAC/Kolda BP 11, Sédhiou, Senegal