An inventory of potential adaptation (good) practices were collected in smallholder system drawing from various sources (i.e. local research stations, ongoing agricultural development and natural resources management project, indigenous practices, etc.) that are particularly relevant to dryland and mountain areas in the pilot districts taking into account vulnerabilities to climate change and drought.
Screen the adaptation practices of the above inventory using key criteria, notably, comparison with the list of potential adaptation measures options suggested in the NAPA document; enhancement of both productivity and ecosystem service (such as water balance, carbon storage, etc.);  capacity to address drought risk management; conduct and document field demonstrations on key potential adaptation practices obtained through the above screening process, with a focus on cereal crop management and conservation agriculture (i.e. drought resistant crop varieties, conservation agriculture practices, the machobane farming system andhousehold level key hole gardening to vulnerable groups); animal production and management (focusing on wool and mohair on mountain ecosystem and dairy in lowland areas); crop-livestock integration practices (i.e. improve livestock feed on both crop and rangeland, pasture and rangeland management, drought tolerant fodder species, improved grazing system to reduce land degradation and vulnerabilities to drought and climate related risks); agroforestry practices (i.e. multipurpose agroforestry practices to reduce damage to crops, increase fodder sources at the community level, drought tolerant fruit trees fodder species and shade trees, household energy supply).  
To address this output, three (3) national experts on Crops, Livestock and Forestry /agroforestry were commissioned to undertake inventories of good practices in smallholder systems from various sources that are particularly relevant to dryland and mountain ecosystems taking into account vulnerabilities to climate change and drought.  The following recommendations were made:


  • Gravity fed irrigation systems
  • Drip irrigation systems
  • Roof water harvesting
  • Promote bird tolerant sorghum varieties
  • Fodder production
  • Promote short season cultivars
  • Promote drought tolerant cultivars
  • Conservation Agriculture & Use of cover crops
  • Improved training in crop husbandry and soil management
  • Home gardens in particular promote keyhole gardening


Woodlots. Suitable species include silver wattle (Acacia dealbata), green wattle (Acacia decurrens), Robinia pseudoacacia, Gleditsia triacanthos, Ulmus parvifolia, Eucalyptus stellulata, E. nitens, E. rubida and other eucalypts. Densely planted hybrid poplars and willows could also be planted in wet areas. In all cases the trees may be planted in combination with fodder grasses in the spaces between the trees.

Trees on pastures: Because of the high population density in the lowlands and the consequent shortage of natural energy sources, many of the trees planted in public areas may fall prey to those collecting fuelwood. The species to be used include Acacia species, poplar and willow species in wet areas, interplanted with kikuyu grass, tall fescue, dallis grass and vetches.

Dispersed trees on rangeland: The few rangelands left in the lowlands, are sometimes fraught with conflict, which could make the establishment of this type of agroforestry system difficult. Suitable species for the lowlands include Cupressus arizonica, C. glabra, Pinus radiata, Eucalyptus species, Populus canescens, Ulmus parvifolia, Acacia dealbata, A. decurrens, as well as Robinia pseudoacacia, Gleditsia triacanthos and Ailanthus altissima. Cuttings of poplars and willows can be produced locally and planted in wet areas in the rangelands.

Homestead gardens and orchards:Species of fruit trees that could be used include peaches, apricots, apples, pears, plums, nectarines, quinces, figs, pomegranates, grape vines, mulberries, Citrus species, nut trees and appropriate olive (Olea spp.) cultivars, interplanted with various vegetables.

Alley cropping: Alley cropping is possible in the lowlands due to the relatively large number of cropping areas as well as large pieces of land for gardens and orchards, many of which are sitting unused. The trees used should ideally include nitrogen fixing species plus some indigenous ones such as the white stinkwood (Celtis africana), oldwood or troutwood (Leucosidea sericea), silky oak (Grevillea robusta).

Windbreaks: As indicated earlier, strong winds occur in the lowlands, especially around the months of August September, which sometimes prove disastrous to local communities. The species that may be used in the lowlands include Acacia baileyana, Casuarina cunninghamiana, Eucalyptus species, Pinus species, Eleagnus angustifolia, Schinus molle, Populus nigra, P. simonii, Cupressus spp., Cedrus deodara. Deciduous species that can be used include Acer negundo, Fraxinus pennsyvanica, Maclura pomifera, Morus alba, Morus nigra, Salix caprea and Sophora japonica.

Hedges and live fences: The problems of trespassing are much higher in the lowlands than in any of the other four three regions due to the high population density. Suitable species for hedges include the privets (Ligustrum spp.), broom (Cytisus scoparius), Cotoneaster spp., Teline monspessulana, Chamaecytisus palmensis and Spartium junceum. Live fencing species are Agave americana, Pyracantha spp., Maclura pomifera, and Ulex europeus.

Fodder banks: This system would probably be more applicable to the two project areas where grazing resources are rather poor. The species that could be used here are tree lucerne or tagasaste (Chamaecytisus palmensis), Teline monspessulana, saltbush (Atriplex nummularia, A. lentiformis), Colutea arborescens and tree lupin (Lupinus arboreus). These trees could be planted in rows intercropped with herbaceous annual or perennial fodder crops such as Bana grass, elephant grass, lucerne, clover, rye grass, vetches (Vicia spp.), triticale, barley, oats, and fodder sorghum.

Donga rehabilitation: A combination of tree, shrub, grass and herbaceous plant species may be used. These include willows and poplars on the donga floor where there is likely to be sufficient moisture to support tree establishment, Robinia pseudoacacia, Gleditsia triacanthos, Acacia spp., Alnus glutinosa, A. cordata, Tamarix gallica, Sesbania punicea, Ailanthus altissima, Ulmus parvifolia, A. procera, legumes such as arrow leaf clover, and vetches, and grasses, such as kikuyu, dallies, reeds, bamboos, rompha, vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizaniodes), Cynodon spp. and tall fescue.

Beekeeping: The fruit trees recommended for homegardens are all suitable as bee fodder. Other suitable species include several Eucalyptus species (E. elata, E. macarthurii, E. rubida, E. sideroxylon and E. tereticornis), tree lucerne (Chamaecytisus palmensis), Acacia species, Rhus lancea, Protea caffra, Populus deltoides, Prosopis glandulosa, Robinia pseudoacacia, Salix babylonica, Schinus molle, Aloe species, and Agave americana.

last updated:  Friday, September 14, 2012