|Soil Conservation Techniques for Hillside Farms (Peace Corps, 1986, 96 p.)|
Agricultural extentionists in a mountainous country, such as Honduras, are faced from the start with an almost infinite number of variables which may affect decisions about optimal land use. The rugged topography provides a wide variety of macro and microclimates, bedrock types, soil types, soil depths, and drainage conditions. Equally important at times may be the variation in economic resources and markets available to farmers. Therefore, as an extensionist strives to develop solutions to the problems most seriously affecting farmers of an area, it is found that each plot must be examined individually in light of the physical, economic, and possibly social or political factors which may affect an individual farmers land use decisions.
The purpose of this guide is to provide agricultural extensionists with basic information which will help them design plans for the conservation of soils and the management of water runoff in specific agricultural plots. It was written based on experiences with small hillside farms in Honduras, and takes into account the resources and constraints commonly encountered there. Included in this guide are also some demonstrations which may prove helpful in the promotion of this technology. Through the use of this guide, it is hoped that extentionists will find it easier to solve some of the common problems faced by hillside farmers.
This guide is not intended to replace more detailed technical works such as Hudson (1981) or Suarez Castro (1980). The main purpose of this guide is to provide a more concise reference work geared more specifically towards small hillside plots. In doing so, much technical information and many techniques appropriate to larger, more mechanized farms are committed. Information presented in other sources should be consulted, when possible, for the solution of specific technical problems. There are also many important topics not covered in this guide, such as improved seed varieties, pest control, marketing, etc., Which nevertheless should be considered by extensionists in developing a complete plan for improving farming practices of an area.