Call edition 2012
A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.
Bush-fallow systems are commonly practised in mid -Casamance, where fallow fields are contributing to soil fertility restoration and for maintenance of precious woody species which are important for biodiversity. With demographic growth and human migration from North to South, permanent agriculture becomes more and more important.
The objective of this study is two-fold: (1) to determine the optimal density of the woody species and the required length of the fallow period to achieve this; and (2) to study the impact of the species on soil fertility. In order to meet this objective, investigations were implemented on farmers fields.
The results show that regular fallows are a must to preserve the woody species and natural soil fertility restoration.
The study concludes by formulating practical recommendations in order to preserve natural biodiversity. One of the promising systems is strip cultivation, where the agricultural fields are banded along the contour lines, separated by lines of natural useful trees (fruit, forage, medicinal, fertility generating) which have been preserved when cutting the natural forest.
report by Prof. Dr. Seppe Deckers, Laboratory for soil and water, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium