By Christopher J Barrow
An advent to runoff agriculture - a sort of agricultural irrigation - this article describes how using floor and subsurface water, usually ignored and wasted, allows either small farmers and advertisement agriculturists to enhance yields and the protection of harvest, even in harsh and distant environments. The textual content introduces the thoughts and techniques, in addition to the demanding situations and the possibility of the the most important process, that could give a contribution lots to lowering land degradation and bettering conservation and sustainability.
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Additional info for Alternative irrigation: the promise of runoff agriculture
Better ways are needed to select the right SWC approach for a given situation. 2). SWC efforts over the last 30 years or so have had some good and some disappointing, even seriously damaging, results; for a recent review, see Reij et al, 1996, who present case studies from sub-Saharan Africa. Failures have often, at least in part, been due to an insensitive approach, usually married to a failure to collect and heed local data. SWC has sometimes been seen as a way to boost ‘backward’ agriculture and raise yields, the data used to plan it has come from unrepresentative surveys and experimental plots and the planners Page 19 SWC may be pursued via one or a combination of: • area closure — slow, but often effective, although it may well mean those excluded have to find alternative livelihoods (fencing can be expensive and prone to damage, and may hinder wildlife movement); • conservation tillage; • engineering or structural means such as terracing; • vegetative measures such as grass strips.
Who is allowed to plant and exploit them? What are trees and hedges used for (eg fodder, woodfuel)? • If land improvements (such as SWC) are carried out, who will benefit? Who will own them? Will land rents increase? • Do local people have a tradition of SWC; can they cooperate and organize? • Is conflict likely between locals and nearby groups if there is improvement? Is there any chance of regional unrest? • What is access to market like (communications, distance, problems with transport, middle men)?
In addition, runoff agriculture often uses locally available materials and hand labour, so it can be adopted with little risk of dependence, may spread with limited outside aid and is adaptive. With food production in many developing countries falling, land degradation increasing and uncertainty about future climate changes as a consequence of global warming, runoff agriculture will become much more important. Runoff agriculture had had much less support than mainstream irrigation, in terms of research expenditure, investment in implementation and in extension services.
Alternative irrigation: the promise of runoff agriculture by Christopher J Barrow