Increased resilience to saline soil and increased productivity by using drip management irrigation
About the Implementing organization
Name: BAIE STE ANNE FARMERS ASSOCIATION
Year of establishment: 2013
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Legally recognized non-profit status
From using water from ponds that were already affected with sea water seepage during the dry season, the farmers were led to install and adapt to using slow release drip irrigation system that provides water directly to the root zone of their crops thus helping them conserve water and reduce soil degradation as a result. The interphase with soil reduces the concentration on sodium because sodium Ion migrates away from the point of irrigation. This is also a prerequisite for the direct application of gypsum as a soil corrector. Both the vegetable and the animal producers confirms that they now produce healthier products hence increase in total yields up to 50%. 12 farms have now changed to practicing this profitable system.
Type of Action
Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use
Sustainable Development Element
Food security / Water security / Climate action
Water saving device provide for conservation of water resource, especially that farmers are collecting the water from the same river source which was already reducing in quantity due to severe erosion and land degradation in the upstream areas. The partner NGO TRASS is assisting with restoration of the water catchment area in order to increase water flow to the downstream farming community. So it is wise for the farmers to make use of such simple and conservative devices for more water retention in the soil and less extraction from the river.
Sustainable Development Impacts
Investing in this efficient irrigation system led to major improvements in the standards of living of these small scale farmers producing the majority of food for the island, hence their yields and quality of food. The followings are the sustainable development impacts or benefits to the farmers and the country; using less water to grow the same amount or more food than before, less fertiliser as nutrients can be spread out from the slow release water, less labour and wastage. Less energy in pumping large volumes of water, thus promotes environmental
sustainability, therefore helping the farmers in vulnerable countries like the Seychelles to adapt and strengthen their resilience to climate change as per the project goal. This result is here to stay.
Although the project only impacted on a small group of farmers in one small corner of an island, the beneficiaries feel great about it and believe that it can and will be scaled up to benefit the other farming community on the other side of the island as this was only a successful pilot project. The SAA however is taking on other farms and advising for the practice nationwide. The project was an opportunity for the BSA Farmers on Praslin to take this on board as a start up and now we encourage them to go out to others and share the experience and achievements, despite the challenges too as the project did have a strong sense of scalability built into it. Having built strategic partnership with the relevant Government Ministry and related agency it thus ensures that the intervention that took place is indeed capable of being taken up nationwide by the concerned agency (SAA) and other partners.
As stated above, since the practice is working effectively and making efficient use of fresh water for the Praslin farmers, why not trial out in other regions. Some more advanced farmers had already been using the practice but smaller scale farmers can also take the challenge and look ahead to more sustainable practices. Why re-invent the wheel when something good can be re-applied or replicated. The drip irrigation system is not only providing water to the crops but also addressing the issue of salinity as it holds the gypsum application longer into the soil, thus keeping in the minerals needed to correct the deficiencies. Baie Ste Anne Farmers' members are more than willing to share the knowledge and help others who want to try out to get started. Seeing it work well on Praslin farms, the SAA is also promoting this practice elsewhere and encouraging small scale or even larger scale farmers to take it up.
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