Integrated on-farm soil nutrient management

This building block entails the use of animal dung and urine as organic soil nutrients for improving soil health and farm productivity. Integrated on-farm soil management comprises different elements, such as livestock shed improvement, urine collection and use, compost-making, improved compost pits, bio gas promotion, use of kitchen waste water, seed distribution, Farmer Field School, soil testing and treatment, and organic farming training and practice. Thus this building block allows for a holistic approach for addressing soil degradation, maintaining soil nutrient and moisture content, adapting to rainfall variability, and coping with increased pest and disease.

Activities were mostly implemented at the household and community level. Careful consideration of beneficiaries is key for activities operating at this small scale. Sites for programme implementation were identified through consultation with local communities and stakeholders, after which a detailed activity plan was developed, considering local conditions, and the interests and skills of the community. Beneficiaries were selected according to specific vulnerability situations, and willingness and interest to participate. 

  • Communities should be sensitized to the ecosystem benefits resulting from the integrated soil-management activities; this would provide added impetus to implement, alongside the economic benefits which are already well-understood
  • Activities are implemented at a small scale, and the costs and benefits would be very difficult to quantify if the building-block activities were to be scaled up; this may impact replication and/or sustainability of the activities
  • The small scale and scattered distribution of the activities also makes their impact less obvious or visible – a comprehensive ecosystem-level vulnerability assessment, developed in conjunction with the relevant local administrative authorities, would help inform a broader adaptation strategy into which integrated soil-management activities could fit