Controlling Soil Erosion with Mulching and More
George, a Kabale farmer, is something of a soil erosion pioneer in his community. He credits local partner PAG with training him on a variety of interventions aimed at restoring soil fertility on over-farmed, sloping land.
“Before the PAG training, my harvests were poor,” says George, “and my yields were low. So were my neighbors’. The land was infertile because the nutrients were washed out due to erosion. I began using Conservation Agriculture practices like crop rotation, minimal tilling, and mulching to retain moisture. After two seasons of mulching, my yields have greatly improved.”
George also started breaking up the downward force of rain on his sloping land by constructing “bunds” – simple earthen embankments across the slope to retain water and control soil loss. He plants a sturdy grass called elephant grass whose root systems protect the bunds from crumbling. An additional benefit of the grass is that he can feed it to his cattle.
After an exposure visit sponsored by PAG, he began digging trenches on his land to trap water so it would percolate down into the soil, and taught eight other farmers to use them as well. Once the community saw how effective the trenches were in improving crops, at least ten more farmers now use trenching on their land.
George rejoices that a lot of the problems related to erosion have been greatly reduced in his area. Jackson, one of the farmers George trained on Conservation Agriculture techniques, says that mulching and trenching have completely solved his issues with the landslides that used to threaten his tomato crop.
Uganda Kabale Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner PAG