Cover Image
close this bookRegenerative Agriculture Technologies for the Hill Farmers of Nepal: An Information Kit (IIRR, 1992, 210 p.)
close this folderNatural resources and their enhancement
View the documentOptimum Use of Marginal Land with Sgroforestry System
View the documentMultipurpose Tree Species and Their Uses
View the documentLive Fence: A Multipurpose Living Structure
View the documentTree Seed Collection
View the documentThe Forest and its Many Uses
View the documentBamboo Propagation and Management
View the documentThe Use and Conservation of Traditional Medicine Plant Resources
View the documentEthno-Veterinary Drugs: Reported Use from the Central Development Region
View the documentUnderutilized Food Crop Resources in the Midhills of Nepal
View the documentWhy Bee keeping? The Role of Bees in pollination
View the documentIntermediate Beekeeping in Nepal
View the documentImproved Terracing for Soil Conservation on Hill Farms
View the documentSmall Ponds for Water Conservation
View the documentRunoff Diversion (Mal Tarkaure) for Landslide Control
View the documentPlanning Erosion Control Measures
View the documentUnderstanding the Environment to Determine Possible Local Solutions to Soil Erosion
View the documentGully Stabilisation

Optimum Use of Marginal Land with Sgroforestry System


Private marginal lands, such as abandoned terraces, degraded and/or eroded land and often single-cropped areas, can be converted into more productive land.

While establishing the system, the emphasis must first be given to improving the soil fertility of the land. This can be done through the use of legumes (green manuring), in situ mulching and/or composting and the incorporation of any other locally available organic matters, such as agricultural by-products and other bigdegradable materials.


1. Productive use of marginal land.
2. Reduction of soil erosion.
3. Early returns as fruit, fodder grass, vegetables and fuelwood can be harvested the second year.
4. Income-generating sources created.
5. Lower maintenance because perennials require less attention than annual crops.


1. Identify the marginal land to be converted.

2. List the locally available and suitable plant species. These will include legumes, shrubs, fruit and other multipurposes trees selected by the farmer.

3. Protect the area, if necessary, through live fencing, using plants, such as Asuro, Khirro, Taleto, Padke, Simal, Ketuki, Sajiwan, Sihundi, Nilkanda, etc. Stone-fencing can be built if sufficient stones are available.

4. Prepare a simple scheme of tile major species that the farmer wants to establish over the long term. Focus should be given to fruits and fodder.

5. In-situ composting, green manuring and green leaf manuring should be done wherever possible for improvement of soil fertility and for water conservation.


1. Seasonal legumes with vigorous growth, for example: cowpea, velvet bean and rice bean (masyang) should be planted in the beginning in order to have enough soil cover, thereby improving the soil condition. Planting should be dense and thick. The best time to plant these species is April-May.

2. In the first year, with the onset of the monsoon, pioneer species, such as banana (at lower elevations), pineapple and some tree species can be planted following the contour or at regular intervals. At the same time, pits can be dug for other tree species.

3. The dug soil from the pit should be mixed with a little compost and returned to the pit in order to prevent soil loss.

4. Tree seedlings can be planted in the prepared pits during July-August.

5. The base of the fruit and other tree seedlings should be mulched in order to prevent soil moisture loss and to provide nutrients from the organic matter to the seedlings.

6. Weed the base of the tree regularly.





· Planting grain legumes, banana, pineapple, up to 100 m aft. and some tree species
· In-situ compost-making
· Addition of all available organic matters
· Mulching and weeding

· Seasonal legumes can be harvested
· Fodder grass for cattle can be harvested


· Continuation of legumes and in-situ composting
· Planting fruit saplings
· Replacement planting, if necessary
· Planting of vegetables (i.e., brinjal, tomato, pumpkin, gourd, etc.)
· Continue mulching and weeding
· Addition of more tree

· Seasonal legumes and early -maturing pineapples can be harvested
· Grass, fodder can be harvested


· Continue activities, such as legume planting, mulching and weeding at the base of fruit trees


· Establish a diversified fruit orchard integrating mandarin orange, sweet orange, lemon, coffee, cardamom, guava, pineapple, banana, plums, pear.

· Plant ipil-ipil and Albezzia falcataria on the band of terrace by direct sowing. Distance between plants should be 50 cm.

· Plant sisso, bakaino, neem, bamboo, koiralo and other fodder species on the boundary line of the orchard with the following distance between plants:

· Sisso - 2.5 m.
· Bakaino - 10 m.
· Neem - 15 m.
· Bamboo - 30 m.

· Fodder trees in between of other plants.

· Plant coffee, banana, orange and pineapple. Alternate orange and coffe in rows. Plant banana and pineapple throughout the fields between the orange and coffee.

· Intercrop various species of legumes, garlic and onion.

Prepared by: B. D. RAJBHANDARY