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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

Re: Addressing water scarcity in agriculture: how can indigenous or traditional practices help?

Andrew Isingoma
Andrew Isingoma Agriculture consultant and FSN-FORUM-MEMBERRwanda

1. Sustainability and replicability of the practices

I would like to describe practices which can help below

1. Grazing and Livestock management

Grazing management is a practice of looking after domestic animals in good and proper managerial way, this is done to protect natural vegetation. It is self explanatory for every one that good vegetation contribute to rainfall hence, water we are in need of, and vice versa.

2. Soil and Water Management (including cross slope barriers)

Soil management involves local construction of barriers to stop soil and water runoff, these practices does not necessarily involve expensive constructions, (like using cemented canals) no way, it is done by local in habitants by planting terebusacum, elephant grases, and some acacia trees on the lidges/ borders of their field. Sometimes they dug terraces in their fields for those living in sloppy areas, these practices are done using local hoes not necessarily caterpillars, and or tractors. Farmers do them and protect water runoff by themselves, they sometimes request some simple incentives to by local drinks while doing these activities, or they can amelgament their little money and buy drinks for themselves.

3. Water harvesting (and storage practices)

This practice involves construction of Pond water in the sloppy fields and put big sheeting in the pond to hold water and can be used for irrigation. it also involves putting water channelling materials on iron sheet roof houses and direct water in big tanks. These activities does not require a big project with a lot of dollars, it only require good governance, and important international organization guide lines like FAO-UN works, and mobilise policy to rural in habitants. Water harvesting practices is very useful locally and succeeded to help people in many areas. It help in the irrigation of kitchen gardens for vegetables like, tomatoes, onions, carrots, etc. water harvesting is very fabulous in food security development at home level.

4. Forest Management (as a coping strategy to water scarcity)

Forest management involves good practices of planting of reducing deforestation in an area where forest have been or have not been before. Forest is necessary in rainfall synclonization and cannot happen without. Forest management should be strongly be put in consideration in order to keep water availability.

5. Integrated wetlands and fisheries management

Wetlands once bad managed it can result into draught causative agent in the very area of practice, wetlands should not be abused by cultivators of animal grazers, mining, constructions etc., these practices should not be done in wetland areas, because it can result into drought. Fisheries management involves practices of proper use and construction of fish ponds these practices have been constructed locally in many areas and very successful.

6. Weather forecasting and early warning systems

I have included this point as the last in the help because it involves higher metrological technics of weather professionals with little involvement of rural in habitants or little in habitants of local citizens, therefore little help in water management.