This week’s Farmer story from Tanzania talks about using Canavalia beans as a cover crop to reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and increase water retention. Our Script of the week shows how farmers in Burkina Faso are covering their soil with a local plant to deal with soil degradation.
Half of Burkinabé territory is located in the arid Sahel, where farmland has been degrading for decades. That degradation has many causes, including the disappearance of vegetation cover, soil erosion caused by runoff water, and violent winds. All these factors contribute to making the land infertile and reducing farm production.
In order to survive, farmers are continuously innovating with ways of restoring the soil and making it more fertile. In this script, you will discover an innovation called “woody mulch farming.” A farmer has created an ingenious method for using a local plant as mulch. Thanks to this method, local farmers are significantly increasing their yields.
You could use this script as research material or as inspiration for creating your own programming on growing crops in arid conditions. If so, talk to farmers and experts who are dealing with these challenges. You might ask them:
What difficulties do you experience with farming in this area?
Have you found solutions to these challenges?
What do extensionists and other experts say about these challenges?
Have you tried mulching or other methods of retaining soil moisture? If so, what was the result?