Grow more food in drylands with planting pits

    | June 17, 2013

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    This week’s story from Niger talks about groups of women who are earning a little cash and a little food in exchange for rehabilitating degraded farmland. The women are employing traditional methods such as digging half-moon ditches and trenches, making embankments, and planting trees on stony soil.

    Planting pits are another traditional soil-building practice. Our script of the week describes how farmers can make cracked hardpan soils productive again by planting grain in small pits – known as zai or tassa pits in some West African languages. The script describes how to make the pits and why – in the right conditions – they can be effective.