Sustainable Agriculture

What combinations of forestry, agroforestry, water-saving technology are needed in arid and semi-arid areas

Alisha Voght
Started by Alisha Voght on
16 Jul 2013 at 02:46
Water For ALL
Know-how: Water

Hello everyone please suggest some combinations of forestry, agroforestry, grasscover, water-collecting systems and storage facilities, drought-resistant crops and water-saving technology are needed in arid and semi-arid areas to increase food production, and to what extent canthey become cost-effective?


Alisha Voght
thanks for the valuable views.
Jean-laurent bungener
According to permaculture forestry should dominate, but according to me, the best is to use a three step way of thinking

first step restoring biodiversity: restoration rehabilitation or conservation of existing natural area including managing biological corridor (from stone lines to forest or temporary ponds) the objective is the establishment of a "genetic pool of natural plant and animals", key words: fruit, flowers, roots,leaves, medics, proteins, wood, essential oil, pest control,water infiltration, soil fauna, seed bombing,essential oil
This could also gives the way to microclimatic change with a better ability of water storage

second step feeding people: control herd movement and establish the whole population of livestock to evaluate the needing in term of grass, leaves and water,
install aquaponics system around the village using roof as collectors for water,
plant bamboos adapted to dry climate (Oxythenanthera abyssinica for example) and other C4 plant for construction and energy needing (biochar, fire, ashes)

key words: fish, vegetables, fire,biochar, agricultural production for family, manure, ashes, livestock, food storage and conservation

third step agriculture:
Estimate the natural productivity of grass and leaves depending on seasonal rains;this gives you the global representation of productivity
Estimate the risk. the higher it is the more your life is depending on small area with high level of production.
This would determine the surface and the kind of crop you can manage and also the shade or mulch you need to protect your plantation.
Agrofoforestry like with faidherbia albida park
could be managed if rainfall are sufficient
Two other risk are still in action
- the commercial one, you have to take this into account including for example the distance to the next market place.
- the wild animals is the second one. If you enhance biodiversity and also make green area with juicy fruits and vegetable to eat you could encountered some troubles or, perhaps find a source of natural meat.
key words: climatic risk, soil fertility, system of seed intensification, companion planting, commercialization, grazing

Within ten years(depending on rains...) microclimate should be transformed, enabling you to enhance each quality of the different microclimate that have developed.

The only problem is property, how to coordinate this kind of management.
At the end 30% forest including biological corridor, 30% grass orchards and C4 plant, 30% crop, and 10 % for ponds, "champs de case" (aquaponics), pens for livestock

grass surface are used for soil restoration after four years of cultivation in rotation

Gema Alatas
According to world population statistics, approximately one billion people live in semiarid regions worldwide and yet the number of people living and deriving their livelihoods from the productivity of these marginal lands is growing by the day. Semiarid areas have at least one entirely rainless month/year and the amount of rainfall ranges from 500 to1000 mm per annum in most areas. This means that conditions of water deficit, water stress, or drought are common. Agricultural researchers, policy makers and other key stakeholders that are actively involved in promoting or increasing agricultural productivity in semiarid areas all seem to agree that the solution to this challenge lies in sustainable agricultural production.
This concept of sustainable agricultural production entails improved management of the available and limited resources and use of improved crop production technologies that can enhance sustainable production in semiarid areas.
Improved use of the limited resources can be achieved by managing the natural resources sustainably; for example, use soil and water conservation measures to prevent land degradation (mainly through soil erosion and run off), and conserve soil fertility and improved use of the water resources through rainfall harvesting.
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