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< prev - next > Agriculture Soil fertility and composting vetiver hedges and sisal halt soil erosion (Printable PDF)
Vetiver hedges and sisal halt soil erosion, improve soil and water conservation
Practical Action
The elimination of vegetable cover and litter has catastrophic effects on the protection of
Solving the problem: Soil Conservation
Soil conservation is the maintenance of soil fertility which entails:
Control of erosion through different interrelated actions.
Maintenance of organic matter.
Maintenance of soil's physical properties through addition of organic fertilizers and
proper farming techniques.
Maintenance of materials. Avoidance of toxicity.
Soil conservation is important if sustainable crop production is to be maintained. It has been
established experimentally that soil erosion is minimal under agro-forestry systems.
Lowering of yields brought about by soil erosion is very substantial; if there is a decrease in
organic matter and the associated nutrients of the soil. The problem of erosion control is very
much linked to the problem of maintenance of soil fertility; one cannot achieve one without
achieving the other.
Rainfall action on soil surface.
The success or failure of soil erosion
control efforts largely depends on the
approach to the problem. The first
step is to carefully study the whole
area affected so as to arrive at the
underlying causes and identify
malpractices associated with them.
Principles of soil erosion /Gully control
(a) Remove or modify the underlying
(b) Decrease the amount and speed of
(c) Safeguard the cutting head(s)
(d) Silt the bed to provide footing for
vegetation establishment (vetiver or
It is very expensive in terms of physical and financial efforts to reclaim degraded landscapes.
The decision on what control structures to employ is therefore critical and should not be done