Title: Living Terraces as Practices in Erosion Prevention and Rainwater Harvesting
Language: English
Authors: Hügel, Stefan 
Issue Date: Sep-2017
Source: RUVIVAL publication series 1: 14-19 (2017-09)
Part of Series: RUVIVAL publication series 
Volume number: Volume 1
Is Part of: https://doi.org/10.15480/882.1427
Abstract (english): 
Living terraces constitute a combination of erosion control measures on slopes. While conventional erosion control structures are proven to significantly reduce rates of erosion, they are often very labour intensive and require tremendous maintenance work in order to remain functional. Small scale farmers in regions with weak economy and a lack of appropriate land use methods are most affected by land degradation and soil erosion. Their soil conditions aggravate the already precarious conditions for farming and make them dependent on fertilisers and pesticides. These conventional farming methods intensify the already worrisome soil conditions and intensify erosion. Long term investments are difficult to carry out for small scale farmers. Switching to organic farming and labour intense erosion control measures is often avoided and most low income farmers do not even consider erosion control methods, simply because they are more concerned with their daily survival. Living terraces have the aim of providing effective erosion control and soil building with minimal labour input and maintenance work. At the same time they provide a source of income in form of livestock fodder and green manure after only a few months. This is made possible by using fast growing and draught resistant food and fodder trees like Moringa oleifera. They create a living structure with vertical and horizontal elements that holds back runoff solids and accumulates them to form terraces over time and hold them in place even in heavy rainfalls. This type of practice provides a sustainable method of erosion control, which can have a chance of being adopted by local farmers in developing countries.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11420/9787
Institute: Abwasserwirtschaft und Gewässerschutz B-2 
Document Type: Article
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