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Terracing

Imagine you have a small piece of land where you want to grow crops, like vegetables or fruits. Now, terracing is a smart way to use that land effectively, especially if it’s on a hill or slope. Let me break it down for you:

What is Terracing in Small-scale Farming?

Terracing is like creating steps or flat platforms on a hillside to turn it into a series of smaller, flat fields. Farmers build these steps by cutting into the slope and creating walls to hold the soil in place. It’s like making “stairs” for plants to grow on!

Benefits of Terracing:

  1. Preventing Soil Erosion: One of the biggest benefits of terracing is that it stops soil from being washed away by rain. When it rains on a sloped land, water can wash the soil downhill, which is bad for farming. Terraces act like barriers, keeping the soil in place so your crops can grow better.
  2. Conserving Water: Terraces help hold water on each flat level, allowing it to soak into the ground instead of quickly flowing downhill. This means your plants can access water for a longer time, even during dry periods.
  3. Better Plant Growth: With terraces, plants have a stable and even place to grow. They get more sunlight and nutrients because the soil doesn’t wash away, making them healthier and more productive.
  4. Preventing Flooding: When it rains heavily, terraces can prevent water from rushing down the hill and causing floods in lower areas.
  5. Accessibility: Terraces make it easier for farmers to access their crops and do the necessary work, like planting, weeding, and harvesting.

Guidelines for Terracing:

  1. Plan Ahead: Before starting, make a plan of how you want your terraces to look. Consider the slope of the land and the amount of sunlight each level will receive.
  2. Use Natural Materials: Build the walls of the terraces using stones, wood, or other natural materials. This helps the terraces blend in with the environment and makes them sturdy.
  3. Add Organic Matter: To improve the soil’s fertility, add organic matter like compost or animal manure to each terrace level.
  4. Choose Suitable Crops: Different crops thrive on different terrace levels based on sunlight, water, and temperature. Place the crops accordingly.
  5. Maintain Terraces: Check your terraces regularly and repair any damage to the walls. Keep them free from debris and weeds.

Terracing is a clever way to make the most out of hilly land for farming. By creating flat fields and preventing soil erosion, terracing helps farmers grow healthier crops and protect the environment. It’s like turning a challenging hill into a productive and beautiful farming space!

If your land is sloped and/or rocky like this, then build terraces.

If your land is sloped and/or rocky like this, then build terraces.

You will gain a lot by making terraces. Take the rocks and make small walls along rows of straight clean fields. It’s been done for thousands of years in China, South America, Europe and Ethiopia.

Bench terraces can create new, productive land and arrest soil erosion. They are uniquely suited to mountainous areas like Tigray, Ethiopia.

Typical ancient teraces – https://thewaterchannel.tv/thewaterblog/creating-new-land-bench-terraces-up-in-the-mountains/

It’s an investment in your future and that of your kids!

Rice Terrace in Veitnam – https://www.enchantingtravels.com/travel-blog/sapa-home-mountain-hmong/
Sikkim Agriculture Organic Cardamom Fields

Its easy to do…just takes a lot of work. But your field will hold more water, your soil will be better, your plants will grow faster and you will have less problems with drought. It also costs no money…only work.

More Info:

Check out this awesome article below to understand terracing even better:

Creating new land: bench terraces up in the mountains – TheWaterCha…

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