Mariela Rivera1,Edgar Amézquita2 and Idupulapati Rao1
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Poster55: Reducing erosion and improving crop water productivity: Quesungual slash and mulch agroforestry system (QSMAS)

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Poster for CIAT 2009 Knowledge Sharing Week

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Poster55: Reducing erosion and improving crop water productivity: Quesungual slash and mulch agroforestry system (QSMAS)

  1. 1. Mariela Rivera1,Edgar Amézquita2 and Idupulapati Rao1 1 Agriculture, Consortium for the Integrated Management of Consortium for the Integrated Management of Soils in Central America Soils in Central America 1International Center for Tropical Agriculture, A.A 6713. Cali, Colombia 2 2Present address: CORPOICA, Palmira, Colombia address: THE PROBLEM Most hillside areas in sub-humid tropics of the world suffer from severe seasonal water scarcity, which is increasing due to deforestation and lack of adequate soil and crop management practices. This problem is particularly acute for rural poor that need safe water to meet their daily requirements. About 1,200 million people, almost one fifth of the world's population, live in water scarce regions, and 500 million are approaching this situation. FAO projects that by 2030, one in five developing countries will be suffering actual or impending water scarcity. Agriculture in developing countries is under pressure to use water more efficiently. Better water management and improved technologies are needed to achieve 'more crop per drop'. It takes between 1,000 and 3,000 liters of water to produce one kilogram of rice grain and 13,000 to 15,000 to produce a kilogram of grain-fed beef. Many of the around 840 million poor people in the world who still go hungry live in water-scarce regions. Source: IWMI, 2006 THE SYSTEM Quesungual Slash and Mulch Agroforestry System (QSMAS), is a smolholder production system with a group of technologies for the sustainable management of soil, water and nutrients in drought-prone areas of hillsides agroecosystems of the sub-humid tropics. It has contributed to a successful development strategy in improving rural livelihoods in the Lempira Department of Honduras. This alternative to slash and burn agriculture strongly builds on local knowledge and has been a major production system to achieve food security by resource poor farmers. Farmers practicing this system reported less soil, water and crop losses as a consequence of the “El Niño” drought event in 1997 and the Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The system includes the production of maize and common bean. OBJECTIVES To determine the soil physical properties driving the acceptance, storage and redistribution of soil water; To assess the risk of susceptibility to erosion and water quality in the system; To quantify the components of water balance (precipitation, interception, runoff, drainage, evapotranspiration and storage in the soil) in the system; and To quantify differences in crop water productivity of maize and common bean. SYSTEM TREATMENTS SB = slash and burn QSMAS<2 = Quesungual system of less than 2 years QSMAS 5-7 = Quesungual system of 5-7 years 1.2 1.2 2005 2005 2006 QSMAS>10 = Quesungual system of more than 10 years LSD 0.05 ==0.22 LSD 0.05 0.22 2006 1.0 2007 2007 1.0 Average Average SF= Secondary forest 0.8 0.8 Grain yield Grain yield (t ha-1) ) 0.6 (t ha-1 0.6 CONCLUSIONS 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 SB SMAS<22 MAS 55-7 MAS>110 SB -7 0 QSMAS compared to the SB showed: Q < Q SMASQS MAS QS MAS> QS QS Land Use Systems Land Use Systems 0.08 25 Increased Runoff 0.08 25 Rainy season (mm) Runoff common bean yield Rainy season (mm) 20 Runoff 0.16 0.16 20 Runoff Dry season Dry season LSD 0.05 == 0.015 LSD 0.05 0.015 LSD 0.05 ==3.1 LSD 0.05 3.1 Infiltration Rainy season LSD 15 Infiltration Rainy season LSD0.05 ==0.024 0.024 15 0.14 Available water content 0.06 0.14 Rainy season LSD 0.05 ==NS Available water content 0.05 0.06 10 10 Rainy season LSD 0.05 NS Dry season LSD 0.05 ==0.010 55 0.12 (kg ssm ) ) Ki-WEPP Dry season LSD 0.05 0.010 0.12 -4 Ki-WEPP (kg m -4 (m3 m-3) ) (m3 m-3 00 Infiltration 0.04 0.6 Infiltration 0.04 0.10 0.6 0.10 (mm) 55 (mm) Maize Maize 0.5 Crop water productivity LSD 0.05 ==0.14 10 0.5 Crop water productivity 0.08 LSD 0.05 0.14 10 0.08 0.02 0.02 15 15 LSD 0.05 ==3.3 0.4 LSD 0.05 3.3 0.06 0.4 Common bean Common bean 20 0.06 (kg m-3) ) 20 (kg m-3 LSD 0.05 ==0.10 LSD 0.05 0.10 25 25 0.3 0.3 0.00 0.00 SB 7 0 SFF SB -7 0 SF SQSMAS<2SMAS 5- 7 MAS>1 0 B AS<2 S 5- S>1 S 0.00 0.00 SQSMAS<2SMAS 55-7 MAS>1 0 B AS<2 S S>1 SF QSM Q SMA QS MA Q QS SB MAS<2 AS 5-77 AS>100 B SFF 0.2 QSM Q SMA QS MA Q QS SQS MAS<2 M AS 5- SM AS>1 QS M Q SM S 0.2 QS QS Q Land Use systems Land Use systems Land Use Systems Land Use Systems Land Use Systems Land Use Systems 0.1 0.1 Lower susceptibility Increased infiltration, Increased available 0.0 0.0 SB 7 0 SB QSMAS<2 SMAS 5- 7 SMAS>1 0 AS<2 MAS 5- Q MAS>1 to erosion decreased runoff water in soil QSM QS Q QS Land Use Systems Land Use Systems Ki-WEPP: Inter-rill soil erodibility (Water Erosion Prediction Project); Crop water productivity: Kilogram of grain produced per m3 of water used Increased crop water PARTNERS productivity CIAT, Colombia; MIS Consortium Central America; UNA, Nicaragua; ESNACIFOR, Honduras; INTA/CENIA, Nicaragua; CIPASLA Consortium, Colombia; Berlin University of Technology, Germany; FAO, Honduras. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This work is partially funded by the Water and Food Challenge Program of the CGIAR. We thank E. García, O. Ayala, A. Álvarez and A. Rodríguez for their contributions to this work.

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