New techniques of farming on sandy soils

07 Apr 2009

imageNew techniques of farming on sandy soils

Seed grants and advice for growing watermelons, cucumbers and tomatoes on the banks of the Dodha river, Kailali have boosted the income of 15 of the poorest members of Ram Laxman Community Forest.

The Western Terai Landscape Complex Project (WTLCP), funded by the Global Environment Facility/Small Grants Programme together with several other partners such as SNV and IUCN, brought in an expert to demonstrate the special techniques and timing needed to grow crops on the very sandy soils. Each household earned an extra between 3,000 to 6,000 rupees each in the first season.

These farmers also planted saccharum grass around their fields. It provides a good wildlife habitat and also helped to reduce flood damage to surrounding households during the September 2008 floods. The grass binds the soil together and slows down the passage of water.

Jagani Chaudhari, one of the members of a user group says, "I was able to save a total of Rs. 5,000 by selling watermelon and cucumbers which I used to buy stationary for my school going children".