This category contains 6 resources

Agroforestry Coffee cultivation in combination with mulching, trenches and organic composting in Uganda

This technology describes a combination of good practices for soil and water conservation that were introduced to coffee farmers in the central cattle corridor of Uganda, with the aim to enhance their resilience to dry spells, pests and diseases, as part of the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) project on Agriculture Adaptation to Climate Change in Uganda.
The combination of good practices include:
(a) mulching, a low cost practice that consists in covering the soil with locally available degradable plant materials to reduce water runoff and evapotranspiration;
(b) digging contour trenches for harvesting water during the rainy season while preserving soil quality;
(c) preparation and application of organic compost to improve soil fertility at low costs; and
(d) planting shade trees within the coffee plantation in order to provide shade and improve soil fertility.

Nutrient Management in Organic Agriculture

Soil is a living system and soil fertility is the key to agricultural productivity. The maintenance of the fertility of the soil is the primary step in any agricultural system. The plethora of microorganism inherent in any soil system ensures that nutrient cycle is in place and the large substrate is broken down to minute particles that can be easy assimilated by the plant’s root system. Therefore farmers should maintain the inherent soil fertility by replacing the nutrients removed by the crops or livestock grazing by using green manures, animal manures (raw or composted) and other natural fertilizers (e.g. rock phosphate).

How to make good, hot compost

This video explains the process of making good, hot compost from green leaves, woody material, rock phosphate and animal manure.

Composting to improve soil fertility in Dominica

Dominica is highly vulnerable to a large number of hazards, such as storms, hurricanes and landslides, which regularly affect its agricultural sector. The arrival and introduction of various invasive pest and disease species has also created a major impact on agricultural productivity and production.
To reduce the adverse impacts of these disasters, composting can be used to improve the physical soil condition and structure, which helps to make crops less susceptible to pests and diseases and protects against erosion. Composting is one method, which effectively adds organic material and limited volumes of nutrients to the soil. It is a low-cost fertilizer, which can be produced with organic or plant refuse and residues from the farm.
The practice of adding compost to the soil is well entrenched into the local production methodology in Dominica, with many producers utilizing tea compost through irrigation systems.

Soil property and fertility improvement through composting using Trichoderma, Philippines

Composting improves the physical soil condition and can thereby reduce the risk and impacts of climate variability and extreme weather events such as droughts, dry spells and heavy rains. Healthy soil systems can better respond to temperature increases, changing rainfall patterns, increase evapotranspiration rates, alter pest and disease cycles, etc. Composting improves soil quality by promoting soil aggregation and preventing surface crusting, which enhances water infiltration, plant root penetration and soil aeration. This also prevents surface run-off and erosion. It also conserves the nutrients contained in animal manure, sewage sludge, and similar materials. Further, it supplies the plant growth hormones not found in inorganic fertilizers. Composting likewise increases the buffering capacity of soils and minimizes the adverse effects of soil acidity and alkalinity. These result in reduced farm input costs because less chemical fertilizer is needed. The application of Trichoderma accelerates composting of organic materials available in vegetable farms. For disaster prone countries like the Philippines, soil property and fertility improvement through rapid composting is therefore seen as a good practice option to enhance overall resilience and prevent high production losses due to degraded or eroded soils.

Farm yard manure and water hyacinth compost applications to enhance organic matter and water holding capacity of soils in drought prone areas of Bangladesh

The impacts of climate variability and change are critical in Bangladesh. The northwest of Bangladesh is recurrently exposed to high risks of drought and drought spells. The vulnerability of the sector is high, and is further increasing due to constantly increasing water requirements, growing cropping intensity and high population pressure. One strategy to strengthen the resilience of farming systems to drought is to enhance the organic matter levels in soils for better soil moisture retention and water infiltration. The preservation and increased application of farm yard manure, which is organic matter prepared from various kinds of locally available animal excreta mixed with other organic materials is a suitable technology to augment the organic matter content in soils. It also enhances the water holding capacity and fertility of soils whose productivity has been negatively affected by recurrent exposure to droughts.