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Soil and water conservation in upland farms

Soil and water conservation in upland farms

· Construct small water impounding projects (SWIPs), small farm reservoirs and small dugout ponds to catch rainwater and runoff. Fish species, such as tilapia, can be raised for food, income, mosquito control or other benefits.

· Construct terraces (broadbase or bench terrace) along the contour of upland slopes to conserve soil moisture and facilitate efficient distribution of water, especially in rough terrain. Contour canals, which are part of terrace systems, can help to channel water into farm ponds and reservoirs.

· Spread chopped grasses or rice straw over the soil surface to completely cover the soil and minimize evaporation. Collect grasses and weeds during farm weeding and trimming of plants. For sloping and rolling lands planted to close-growing crops (e.g., pasture crop), adapt contour ditch irrigation to allow water flow down the slope between adjacent field ditches. The field ditches should be spaced fairly close to each other in order that the irrigation water can be applied uniformly.

· Protect watersheds and support reforestation efforts in the country. A well-vegetated watershed can store more water and will minimize silting of reservoirs.

· Practice contour tillage which is the practice of conducting farming operations (e.g., plowing, harrowing) along the contour rather than up and down the slope.

· Plant trees on the farm or in the home lot. Trees help to improve microclimates and can enhance the water storage capacity of a farm.

Ideas for Action:

A Technology Information Kit, November 23 - 28, 1992