Conservation Farming Offers More Reliable Yields

Conservation Farming - Hambantota
Training in conservation farming for restoring degraded lands – Weherayaya, Moneragala
Organic tea plants in nursery - Dunuke Ella, Kandy

SLCDF promotes conservation farming in anticipation of twin results. In homesteads, to halt land degradation in the marginal lands the poor are left with and to provide for enhanced food security which assures containing the widespread malnutrition especially among rural children.

SLCDF has provided skills and knowledge in conservation farming supplemented with initial start-up capital for a total of 690 families in 12 districts since May 2008. 60% of participants are women. The selected participants were initially provided with a start-up capital under RLF. Through their prompt repayments another 400 – 500 families have been benefited through this scheme.

Other purpose of conservation farming is maintaining soil surface cover. Exposed soil can lose 60% of the rainfall through runoff and up to 50% of soil moisture can be lost through evaporation directly from the soil surface. Mulch cover protects the soil by absorbing raindrop impact, increasing infiltration slowing the speed at which water runs over the land, thereby reducing soil movement. The conservation farming components and practices include zero or minimum tillage, agro forestry, green manure cropping, contour farming and mulching.

Conservation farming systems are designed to use mulch cover to reduce soil erosion and land degradation, conserve moisture for plant growth, increase organic matter levels and improve soil structure and fertility and achieve viable and sustainable productivity.