soil conservation methods

Soil Conservation methods

  • Terracing: This is the digging of step-like trenches across a hill, which helps to trap the moving soil hence preventing soil erosion.
  • Crop rotation: This is the planting of different crops on the same piece of land. This helps to control monoculture and its effects.
  • Afforestation and re-afforestation: here, trees are planted in areas where they have been cleared or areas where trees have never been planted. The planted trees help in controlling the effects of heavy rain drops and speed of wind, which are major agents of erosion.
  • Mulching: this is the covering of soil with different materials e.g. grass so that it can be able to store moisture in the soil. The stored moisture then helps to keep the soil intact hence reducing soil erosion.
  • Controlled grazing e.g. paddocking, zero grazing and tethering. This can help to reduce on the effects of overgrazing like eating up of all the vegetation from the ground.
  • Educating people about the importance of environmental conservation and the dangers of bush burning hence reducing on the effects of soil erosion.
  • Application of fertilizers/Manure: this will help to hold soil partials together hence reducing soil erosion.
  • Strip cropping: This is the planting of grass between strips of crops and the grass helps to trap the moving soil.
  • Contour ploughing where cultivation takes place along contours on a hill. Farmers cultivate around a hill and not up and down the hill to prevent soil run-offs. It’s common in Kigezi among the Bakiga and the Kenyan highlands.
  • Controlling bush burning which is a necessary measure especially among the nomads.
  • Using the Umatengo system: here, pits are dug on steep slopes to trap eroded soil and plants are cultivated between the pits. This system is mainly used among the Matengo people of South-Eastern Tanzania.
  • Population control measures should be enforced so that pressure on land is reduced e.g. resettling people away from highland areas to lowland areas.    

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