Stories tagged: soil erosion

Steve Kibet: Mobilising Youth to Tackle Soil Degradation

In this guest post, young soil scientist Steve Kibet tells Farming First how he has managed to mobilise young people to take action against soil degradation in Kenya. This blog is part of our ongoing partnership with Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD).

My grandmother would sit us by the fireside after a long day of looking after her livestock. She would tell us how she used to plant crops; there was no use of organic fertilizer, just removing vegetation cover by slashing and planting the crops using hoes. There was little disturbance to the soil structure. The cover material would protect the soil from water erosion, which is the main type of erosion in the area.. This resulted in a maize plant producing 2-3 maize cops. Her granary was full all year round and the cost of production was very low. Continue reading

Anti-Soil Erosion Practices Help Preserve Biodiversity in Albania

Albania is gifted with a rich biodiversity, but this variety is vulnerable to climate change impacts. The coastal habitats in the Mediterranean are fragile ecosystems, and the land is under threat of coastal erosion, waterlogging and increased salinity. Inland, approximately 25% of the land suffers from natural soil erosion due to the corrosive effects of the rivers. Such deterioration of the land threatens the farmers’ ability to cultivate enough food.

An IFAP case study reports that several projects have been undertaken in Albania to stop further land degradation. Many Albanian female farmers have implemented good agricultural practices to maintain soil productivity, conserve water and lower production costs by practising crop rotation, intercropping, composting, selection of resistant varieties and using effective irrigation systems.

Farmers of 25 communes in remote areas have recently received payments from the World Bank Bio Carbon Fund as an incentive to manage and care for their forests, helping to preserve ecosystems.

Further projects include afforestation, improvement of irrigation systems and a democratic-approach to involve farmers, particularly women, in the decision-making processes of agro-environmental policy making.

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This initiative was provided by the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP).

Conservation Agriculture

The combination of crop protection products and biotech crops has significantly helped advance conservation agriculture as a means of restoring and protecting soil and limiting erosion.

It is estimated that conservation agriculture can reduce soil erosion by 50 to 98 percent while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent through reduced oxidation of soil organic matter. No till is now being utilized on more than 95 million hectares, mostly in the USA, Brazil, Argentina, China, Canada and Paraguay.

No till farming in the USA doubled in the five year period following the introduction of herbicide-tolerant soybeans. It is estimated that this led to the preservation of 247 million tons of topsoil and 243 million gallons of fuel in 2002 alone.