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Soil and Water Conservation and Agroforestry Programme

Soil and Water Conservation and Agroforestry Programme

Runoff from overstocked rangeland constitutes a serious threat to arable land on lower slopes, and livestock that grazes near villages damages soil conservation works and compacts the soil, favouring erosion. This project was based on the need to integrate soil conservation and agricultural production and to make conservation programmes more effective by rooting them in what rural people can do for themselves, using simple methods and limited resources. Under the project, farmers carried out the conservation works themselves under the supervision of technicians, and farmers were paid not in food aid but in the form of agricultural inputs such as seed and fertilizers.

In the project area an estimated 77 per cent of rural people were living below the poverty level, and many of them were women who head households. Women were the principal target of the programme.

The programme’s objectives included:

  • improving small-scale farmers’ productivity and income
  • promoting soil and water conservation by farmers as a routine feature of agricultural activities
  • establishing agroforestry research capability to develop ecologically sound agricultural production systems
  • creating effective agricultural extension services
  • monitoring and coordinating conservation policies, programmes and projects

The programme assisted farmers in building and repairing erosion control structures such as terraces and waterways and water harvesting structures for supplementary irrigation. The programme promoted controlled livestock grazing, simple biological methods of soil conservation, and traditional sharing arrangements so that women and landless people could have access to land.

Project funds were used to test and promote the Machobane farming system. The results were noteworthy: Yields from fields cultivated under the system were triple those of monocropped plots. Between 1991 and 1997 the number of farmers adopting the system soared from 22 to 2,000.

 

Source: IFAD


Status: Closed

Country

Lesotho

Approval Date

14 September 1988

Duration

1988 - 1995

Sector

Agricultural Development

Total Project Cost

US$ 6.82 million

IFAD Financing

US$ 6.04 million

Financing terms

Highly Concessional

Project ID

1100000445


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