Resilient conservation farming systems and land degradation in Bungokho Mutoto Ridge of Mt. Elgon Watershed, Eastern Uganda
Nabanoga, G. N
MetadataShow full item record
With reference to sustaining the mountainous farming systems in eastern Uganda, this study presents some insights into the prime ecological and economic impacts of land degradation in Bunghoko Mutoto ridge of Mt. Elgon watershed, eastern Uganda. The declining forest resources, depleting soil fertility, small fragmented land holdings and intensive use of land to provide for subsistence needs of growing human and animal population, has raised serious concern over sustainability. The study ridge (124 ha) represents typical farming situation in the hilly landscapes of Uganda. Of the total cultivated area of 54 ha, about 80% is cultivated with food crops, 7% cash crops and 3% fruit crops. People depend mainly on agriculture for their livelihood. About 59, 21, 11, 7, 3 and 2% of the average income contribution to the household economy come from off-farm, livestock, fruits, vegetables, cash and cereal crops, respectively. Terracing farmland and planting fodder trees on terrace edge and on terrace risers are the resilient traditional farming practices in order to minimize soil erosion and to maintain crop production. Slash and burn activities are continuously being practiced. Few farmers have adopted soil conservation techniques like use of mulching, hedgerows, mixed cropping of cereals with legumes and minimum tillage and establishing fruits orchards and vegetables farming. It is possible to improve economic condition of people in the area through commercialization and diversification of resilient agricultural practices with minimum degradation of natural resources.