1035 Adaptation to Climate Change for Smallholder Farmers in Ethiopia and the Contribution of Compost plus a System of Crop Intensification
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1035 Adaptation to Climate Change for Smallholder Farmers in Ethiopia and the Contribution of Compost plus a System of Crop Intensification



Presented by: Sue Edwards with Dereje Gebre Michael, Hailu Araya and Arefayne Asmelash, Institute for Sustainable Development, Ethiopia

Presented by: Sue Edwards with Dereje Gebre Michael, Hailu Araya and Arefayne Asmelash, Institute for Sustainable Development, Ethiopia

Date Presented: July, 2010



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1035 Adaptation to Climate Change for Smallholder Farmers in Ethiopia and the Contribution of Compost plus a System of Crop Intensification 1035 Adaptation to Climate Change for Smallholder Farmers in Ethiopia and the Contribution of Compost plus a System of Crop Intensification Presentation Transcript

  • Adaptation to climate change for smallholder farmers in Ethiopia andthe contribution of compost Plusa system of crop intensification
    Sue Edwards with Dereje Gebre Michael, Hailu Araya and ArefayneAsmelash
    Institute for Sustainable Development, Ethiopia
  • Climate and climate change
    Climate gives us the weather of an area (region, country, even the whole world)
    It describes the behaviour of the atmosphere
    It is the overall effects of:
    air temperature,
    rainfall amount and pattern,
    air movements, i.e. Winds, and
    dramatic events such as hailstorms, droughts, etc.
    Climate change is a statistical change in the average behaviour of weather over a given time period
  • Greenhouse gases (GHG)
    Greenhouse gases enable the surface of the earth to be suitable for life by absorbing and emitting radiation from the sun; if they ‘trap’ heat radiated from the earth so it does not go into space, the temperature of the atmosphere around the earth’s surface rises
  • Sources of increased greenhouse gases
    Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, about 1750, use of fossil fuels have produced more GHGs than could be recycled. The result is climate change and global warming.
  • The greenhouse effect
    More radiation is held in the atmosphere than is radiated back to space
  • Global warming potential of GHG
    Global warming potential = the heat-trapping power of a gas relative to CO2 over a particular time period (usually 100 years)
    The most abundant GHG is CO2
    Methane has x25 the warming potential of CO2
    Nitrous oxide has x298 the warming potential of CO2
  • Some expected impacts of climate change
    An increasingly unstable / unreliable climate for Ethiopia is expressed through:
    Increased droughts
    Increased heavy rainstorms, flooding and soil erosion
    Decreased availablility of drinking and fresh water
    Increased salinization of freshwater and soils
    Decreased forest cover, expansion of arid areas
    Spread of exotic, invasive plants and animals
    Reduced crop yields, increased hunger and malnutrition
    Increased problems for human and animal health, including distribution of infectious diseases such as malaria and sleeping sickness
  • Strategies to reduce emissions and capture Green House Gases
    The earth’s soil and biomass (plants and animals) hold 3 times more carbon than the atmosphere
    More than 30% of all GHG emissions come from changes in land use that disturb or destroy the natural vegetation cover – agriculture, forestry, mining, etc.
    GHG emissions can be reduced by changes in land use practices that reduce emissions
    Some practices can also deliberately remove GHG, particularly CO2, from the atmosphere and store it in a carbon sink – this is termed SEQUESTRATION
    Source: MenaleKassie & Precious Zikhali, May 2009, Sustainable Development Innovation Briefs, Issue 7
    Sustainable agriculture = low external input with soil improvements through conservation tillage, and/or incorporation of animal manure, compost, green manures, etc.
  • Emission Reductions – Available Means
    Carbon dioxide-- through:
    Avoidance of shifting cultivation
    Reduction of fossil fuel consumption
    Production and incorporation of compost, green manures, stubble in harvested fields ploughed in (conservation tillage)
    Methane – through:
    Soil management to increase the oxidation of methane through good balance of air and moisture; also
    Maintaining and improving grasslands and forests
    Recycling through compost and biogas
    Animal husbandry, particularly locally-produced and with appropriate feeds, and controlling grazing
    Paddy cultivation with aeration periods – see SRI (System of Rice Intensification)
  • Emissions reductions (cont.)
    Nitrous oxide -- through
    Avoiding use of synthetic N fertilizer, or using it on composted soil and placing strategically with crop seed in rows
    Build up organic nitrogen as this comes from within the system thus avoiding overdoses and high losses
    Limit animal stocking rates
    Provide dairy cows with diets high in fiber, and use crops (sunflower seeds) that reduce NO2 emissions
  • Figure 1: Average yields for grain and straw for all crop samples, Tigray, 2001-2006
    The crops grown in compost-treated fields also had a higher grain index
  • Recovery of soil fertility
    Farmers also applied compost to fields growing faba bean, field pea, and finger millet
    After 4 years (1998 to 2002), the yields of the check (non-treated fields) were similar to those treated with compost
    This indicates:
    The residual effect of compost
    The number of years over which soil fertility can be restored from a single application
    The need for participatory plant breeding with farmers to develop varieties that can give higher responses to fields treated with locally-made compost
  • Figure 2: Yields (kg/ha) for faba bean, field pea and finger millet in 3 sites - 1998 and 2002
  • Faba Bean with and without compost
    Yields have risen from less than 500 kg/ha on non-compost treated fields to around 2,500 kg/ha when compost is applied.
  • Compost and adaptation to climate change
    Soil in fields treated with compost:
    Holds moisture for about 2 weeks longer than other fields
    Resists erosion from wind and water
    Allows water to infiltrate to the water table, seen through the re-appearance of springs and longer water flows during the dry season
    Hasreducedweed populations, particularly of weeds that flourish in poor soils such as Striga and Parthenium
    A set of insights and practices that change the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients used
    First developed for rice in Madagascar
    Now spreading throughout SE Asia and India
    Also being applied to other crops, particularly wheat, sugarcane, and finger millet
    It is not a new approach for Ethiopian farmers - who have been transplanting vegetables such as green pepper and tomatoes
  • Finger millet in india
  • Wheat in india
    Since 2001, the technologies have been widely extended to 50 counties and cities in Sichuan. According to several years of experiences, these technologies have proved to be water saving and give high yield, with excellent performance especially in drought seasons.
    SRI methods are used (young seedlings, less plant population, wider spacing, no flooding) on permanent raised beds with plastic mulch
  • Hehu Village in Zhujia Township, also Renshou County
    According to local experience, with the new methods, 70% of the water normally applied could be saved per mu, and the yield increase was 30% per mu. The yield even reached 700 kilograms per mu in some water-stressed seasons (10.5 tons per hectare)
    This year small (young) seedlings were planted one month earlier than usual. This saved time, and solved the conflicts with other activities.
  • SCI and adapting to Climate change
    Raising seedlings makes young plants ready for transplanting when the main rains start
    Wider spacing between plants means they are not competing for water and nutrients
    More space for the plants makes it possible for the sunlight to reach all the leaves, so all can contribute through photosynthesis
    Weed control is easier and quicker, i.e. simple mechanical weeders (e.g. hoe) can be used
  • More information on the farmers’ experiences will be given later