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How can we grow plants if it is very hot and very dry?? www.anamed.net A ction for Na tural Med icine 1 www.anamed.net.

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Presentation on theme: "How can we grow plants if it is very hot and very dry?? www.anamed.net A ction for Na tural Med icine 1 www.anamed.net."— Presentation transcript:

1 How can we grow plants if it is very hot and very dry?? A ction for Na tural Med icine 1

2 2 A collection of ideas: 1.Collect the water when it does come! 2. On hillsides, plant trees along the contours! 3. Water the plants and not the whole field! 4.Plant trees! 5.Create shade! 6.Do not dig or plough! 7. Mulch! 8. Plant fruit and traditional vegetables that can withstand drought! 9. Dig zaï holes or fertility pits! 10. Use small containers that are easy to water!

3 Collect the water when it does come in rainwater collection tanks But you must look after them!!! A roof, well maintained gutters and a clean and covered tank are vital in dry regions.

4 Collect the water when it does come in sand dams Picture from working with the Kamba people of the Machakos, Makueni and Kibwezi Districts of south-eastern Kenya. When the rains do come, it is like a great flood – and flows rapidly away down valleys that are usually dry. Sand dams stop this water all flowing away. Sand dams work well in riverbeds that are seasonally dry but collect a lot of silt during the rains. The sand helps to reduce evaporation.

5 Make contours. Along the contours plant trees that increase soil fertility. What plants can you see here? Trees along the contours - prevent soil erosion and - the right trees increase soil fertility

6 Make contours. Along the contours you can also plant vetiver grass and lemon grass. Vetiver grass has very deep roots that bind the soil and prevent soil erosion, even when the rains are heavy. Lemon grass provides pleasant and very healthy tea. When regularly trimmed, leucena rapidly increases soil fertility – and provides shade.

7 Water the plants and not the whole field for example, using drip irrigation. ‏

8 8 Drip irrigation: a small scale system

9 using a simple technique to bring water directly to the plant. 3. Water the plants and not the whole field... like this...

10 10 Like this Water the plants and not the whole field...

11 11 Or this way Water the plants and not the whole field...

12 by making basins around the plants, as with these artemisia plants in Zambia. 3. Water the plants and not the whole field...

13 by digging many „L“-shaped little dams. 3. Water the plants and not the whole field...

14 Plant trees, but why?? The canopy gives shade and creates a good microclimate. Rain soaks into the ground better. Less water evaporates from the soil. Leaves fall and provide mulch and fertilizer Under the trees it does not get so hot and so cold. Crop yields are higher!

15 Which trees are drought tolerant(1) ? Faidherbia albida (Anatree) is one of the fastest growing indigenous trees. It is also leguminous. Azadirachta indica (Neemtree)

16 Which trees are drought tolerant(2) ? Moringa oleifera Tamarindus indica

17 A practical example where plants enjoy shade and fertile soil.

18 Plant trees, but why?? Prof. Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya : “When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and the seeds of hope.” When I was growing up in Nyeri in central Kenya, there was no word for desert in my mother tongue, Kikuyu. Our land was fertile and forested. But today in Nyeri, as in much of Africa and the developing world, water sources have dried up, the soil is parched and unsuitable for growing food, and conflicts over land are common. So it should come as no surprise that I was inspired to plant trees to help meet the basic needs of rural women.

19 5. Create shade 19 The best way to create shade is to plant trees that also fertilise the soil. But for a quick, temporary solution, use a black net. This also keeps the birds away.

20 6. Do not dig or plough! By not digging or ploughing: the ground is not compacted by machinery or feet. a good soil structure develops because of the channels created by decomposed roots. weed seeds are not brought to the surface. you save back breaking work or tractor fuel. 20

21 Mulch, but why?? The soil retains moisture less evaporation Insulates the ground from high temperatures and radiation Makes humus encourages soil microorganisms Rain soaks slowly into the ground Fewer weeds Improves soil structure Sometimes a thick layer of mulch is called “God`s blanket” !

22 7. Mulch – use crop residues or grass In this organic garden Agnes Nalukwago is growing tomatoes and other local vegetables – with a thick grass mulch! 22

23 Mulch, but why?? With mulch, no digging and contours, 90% of the water soaks into the ground, and 10% runs off. With no mulch and no contours, 10% soaks into the ground, and 90% runs off. Do you believe it?!

24 The benefits - with contours, no digging and mulch – sometimes called “conservation farming” 24

25 25 Trees and mulch insulate the ground from high temperatures. But why is that important?

26 Plant fruit and vegetable that can withstand drought(1) We need to think about what plants we grow! In general, introduced species such as maize are not well adapted to local conditions. When the rains fail, the harvest is very poor.

27 Plant fruit and vegetable that can withstand drought(2) Traditional vegetables, on the other hand, tend to be much more drought tolerant! For example: African spinach Ochre Jute Cowpea sesame family Vegetables black night shade Amaranth Pumpkin

28 Plant fruit and vegetable that can withstand drought(3) Root crops are robust. They sit in the ground and wait for the rains to come. For example: Sweet Potato Cassava These are drought resistant and will grow in less fertile soil. This is also true for pigeon pea.

29 8. If you plant fruit and vegetable that can withstand drought, and grow them organically, then they are also very nutritious This lady has made small basins around her vegetables, into which she has put compost made from sheep and goat manure and chopped groundnut plants. Water is poured over this compost. 29

30 9. Zaï holes Dig many 20x20 cm holes close together 10 – 20 cm deep during the dry season. Use the scooped out earth to make a wall on the down-hill side. Fill them with mulch such as crop residue or manure. This leads to increased termite activity with many termite tunnels. These increase the rate of water infiltration when the rains come. This method has been used with particular success in a very barren and dry part of Burkino Faso. Using this technique, some people have even converted barren land into a forest of useful trees. A bit like this lady in the last picture 30

31 9. Fertility pits In Zambia, some farmers developed the idea of Zaï holes further. They dug pits 1 metre in diameter and half a metre deep. Into this hole they put dry vegetation, animal manure, some ashes and good topsoil. Then they planted their crops. These farmers in Zambia had healthy looking maize in March, in spite of no rain and drought in January and February 31

32 Use small containers that are easy to water (1)..... for example a garden in a sack.

33 Use small containers that are easy to water (2). Stones in the center help the water to be better distributed.

34 Use small containers that are easy to water (3)..... or in a tyre.

35 35 Finally follow these guidelines: What do the older people grow – and grow successfully? Learn from your own experience! Do not be afraid to try something new! If at first you don´t succeed – try, try and try again!

36 36 In summary Collect the water when it does come! 2. On hillsides, plant trees along the contours! 3. Water the plants and not the whole field! 4.Plant trees! 5.Create shade! 6.Do not dig or plough! 7.Mulch! 8. Plant fruit and traditional vegetables that can withstand drought! 9. Dig za ï holes or fertility pits! 10. Use small containers that are easy to water!

37 For more information....  Foundations for Farming  Conservation farming, e.g. in Zambia  Permaculture, e.g. the UK association:  REAP in Kenya  World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi With many thanks for their help in providing information for this presentation to: Rosalia Oyweka and Roger Sharland of REAP in Kenya Bob Mann, Agriculturalist in the UK with vast experience in Uganda, Gambia and Zambia Mpho Sebanyoni and Aaron Motlhasedi of the Moretele Sunrise Hospice in South Africa Rehema Namyalo in Uganda


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