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CTA. 2000. Farming uphill?. Spore 90. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46994
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore90.pdf
No right-minded farmer will switch to a different farming system overnight, even if certain changes might be for the better. Many farmers often cannot afford to invest money or take many risks, but they are interested in using gradual methods to...
No right-minded farmer will switch to a different farming system overnight, even if certain changes might be for the better. Many farmers often cannot afford to invest money or take many risks, but they are interested in using gradual methods to make the switch. In the Pacific, PACIFICLAND, a network of government bodies, regional and international NGOs and research organisations, is working with farmers to help sustainable land management (SLM) practices take root on sloping lands. In a participatory approach using on-farm trials, the programme s researchers and extension workers introduce possible (inter) cropping systems to counter erosion and improve soil management. The choice of crops depends on biophysical and climatic characteristics of the area and on what the communities prefer. For steeply sloping lands in Vanuatu, this has developed into systems from low risk cropping (sweet yam, peanut and cassava) in the early years to higher risk crops (sweet potato and taro) after 2-3 years to very high-risk crops (kava and long yam) after 4 years. These cropping patterns are combined with single plant hedges along the contour lines. In Fiji the approach took shape in hedges of pineapple on mid-sloping lands and vetiver grass on lower sloping areas, providing short-term cash benefits. The farming systems here include ginger-taro-cassava in higher rainfall areas and off-season vegetables in seasonally dry areas. It appears that as farmers become more comfortable with these management practices they see less risk in adopting and investing in technologies and higher risk cropping. I Ratukalou Koronivia Research Station MAFF PO Box 77 Nausori Fiji Fax: +679 400 262 Email: email@example.com