Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 3 November 2017 at 01:07

Agroforestry and Rain Water Harvesting Field Visit at Bolo Silase Kebele (Arerti), Menjar

27th October 2017

The Agroecology platform of AgriProFocus Ethiopia hosted a field visit to Menjar area Arerti woreda, BoloSilase kebele.

Bolo Silase kebele of Arerti woreda, has a soil type of silty loam, temperature ranging between 18-33°C. The livelihood of the area is mixed agriculture and livestock Like other parts of the country it is also characterized by rain fed agriculture the cash crops are teff, wheat, chick pea, barley, fruits and onion.

Now-a-day’s climate change is a boundless problem in every corner of the world so the farmers needed to practice soil and water conservation techniques widely. In order to capable of being resilient to environmental shocks they built water harvesting pond and practicing other NRM techniques. In that kebele earthen ponds were built at family level having a capacity of 84 – 129 cubic meter of water and at community level having a capacity of 1,500 – 2,600 cubic meter, and covered by algae to reduce evaporation. There were two ponds the one is for silt trap and reservoir in between them there is a pipe to connect them. They use the water for irrigation at critical times: for annuals like vegetables and onion at the seedling development stage (the visited farmers earned high income from sale of seedlings - 60,000-70,000 ETB/ 0.5ha of land) and for the perennial fruits at the flowering stage.

A limiting factor for the practice of rainwater harvesting in the area is the limited quality and quantity of the plastic and geomembrane for lining the water collection pits.

The agroecosystem of the farmers of the area is very species diverse, it holds:

Fruit trees – Avocado, Guava, Lemon, Orange, Mango, Banana, Moringa and Papaya

- Vegetables - especially onion

- Crops – Sorghum, Maize, Coffee,

- Spices and herbs - especially rosemary

The area is a best example for agroforestry practice. It integrates soil and water conservation with natural resource management.

The Field visit was organized by Agroecology Steering Committee Member Yemane Gebreselassie, who researches rainwater harvest with Adama Science and Technology University (ASTU), together with AgriProFocus Staff. Logistics of the Field visit were funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit Agricultural Mechanization and Technology for Smallholder Productivity (GIZ AMTP).

Sarah Assefa ASTU seeks support to further research the impact of algae on water conservation in water holding ponds. All farmers in the area are using this algae, and the water beneath it remains cool in temperature. It is unsure how much moisture is saved by the algae presence, and how much water is lost by transpiration through the bodies of the algae. Please contact us if you would like to assist ASTU to further this research! (Sassefa@agriprofocus.com)

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