Farmer-Led Innovations Reduce Soil Erosion

As a result of their own research, farmers in the program’s Innovation Groups are now aware that rainwater, along with their soil, only runs downhill if they allow it to. These groups are testing which methods are most effective in stopping soil erosion on the steep mountainsides they farm. The purpose of the project is to identify soil and water conservation solutions that farmers are actually willing, financially able, and likely to adopt, with little or no external support.

Rather than telling farmers what to do, Catholic Relief Services and local partner KMSS are guiding groups of experimental farmers, called Innovation Groups, through farmer-led research projects. Through this approach, participants are comparing erosion-control practices to find low-cost, low-labor techniques that meet their needs and address their own challenges. This way, they are much more likely to practice them. Group members learn about erosion and loss of soil fertility, study a number of practices that have been used elsewhere, establish research plots on their own fields to test the selected treatments, and monitor and compare the changes over time. The farmers measure indicators important to them, including soil loss, soil fertility, yields, and the cost and amount of labor that is required to establish and maintain each solution.

Thanks to your generosity and support:
Farmers have learned that they can be researchers and innovators on their own land
Innovation Groups share their practical, affordable, locally-appropriate solutions to erosion
with other farmers in Chin State

Myanmar Tedim Program
Led by Catholic Relief Services and Local Partner Karuna Mission for Social Solidarity (KMSS) 

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