Combating desertification and reintroducing agricultural production by appropriate planting and multiple shelterbelts in Sahelian conditions and some simple agronomic measures. Case study of economically beneficial agrometeorological applications and services and of other success stories in agrometeorology for policy matters.
Stigter, C.J.; Onyewotu, L.O.Z.; Owonubi, J.J.
In Sudan, problems of wind induced sand encroachment towards an irrigated area could for the time being be solved by a planted Eucalyptus microtheca shelterbelt. Also sand settlement in the source area by trees and grasses to combat expanding desertification was successfully researched. Both studies quantified interaction of wind with trees and sand settlement to prevent this way further sand encroachment towards areas in use for agricultural production. The oldest work was on the use and on improved designs of shelterbelts to catch sand within and in front of the belt vegetation. A recommended improved design is now widely used to protect endangered parts of the Gezira irrigation scheme. The later work, which was terminated only recently, dealt with the selection, establishment and suitability of trees and grasses for use in settling sand. This was done in the secondary source area of the moving sand originally studied near the endangered parts of the irrigation scheme. Recommendations on suitable species have been made. Without participation of farmers, extension personnel and local scientists and without establishing a pilot project, the Nigerian government established large areas of multiple shelterbelts of Eucalyptus camaldulensis that controlled desertification well. Agrometeorological research showed that this unprepared introduction led to an inefficient system of belts. The research showed that different belt direction, much shorter distances between belts, less depth of the belts, pruning of tree roots and branches at the tree/crop interfaces, a scientific determination of planting dates, improved use of manure and participative management of belts and crops would have improved the system and its yields. Such measures, combined with the alternative choice for dense agroforestry parkland or for a combination of belts and scattered trees would have made the systems acceptable to farmers if they had been involved in the details of such choices.
Leerstoelgroep Meteorologie en luchtkwaliteit
World Meteorological Organization
Type of publication|
External research report
Wageningen - University of Wageningen
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