Zaï and the half-moon
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CTA. 2000. Zaï and the half-moon. Spore 88. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46867
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore88.pdf
Two techniques zaï (an ancestral method of the Mossi in Burkina Faso, mentioned in Spore 87, page 15) and half-moon (which is very current in Cape Verde) are well-known measures against soil degradation in arid and semi-arid zones. The...
Two techniques zaï (an ancestral method of the Mossi in Burkina Faso, mentioned in Spore 87, page 15) and half-moon (which is very current in Cape Verde) are well-known measures against soil degradation in arid and semi-arid zones. The zaï method is used on crusted soils and consists of digging small hollows at regular intervals, filling them with manure and covering them with a thin layer of earth. They are sown at the time of the first rains. The half-moon method is used on sloping land where the soil dug out from the hollows is built up around them to form small dikes. The Burkinabé researcher Robert Zougmoré had the idea of combining the two methods and replacing the scarce manure, or even scarcer chemical fertilisers, with other organic matter such as harvest wastes and compost. According to farmers who had tried out this approach, it required more work, but yields rose. Surface water was retained better, and soil quality improved. Termites, normally such awesome enemies, lent a helping hand, by excavating their subterranean galleries, which allowed water to penetrate the soils more deeply. R Zougmoré INERA, 03 BP 7192, Ouagadougou 03 Burkina Faso Fax: +226 34 02 71 Email: robert.zougmore @messrs.gov.bf
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