The Role of Agronomic Practices on Soil and Water Conservation in Ethiopia; Implication for Climate Change Adaptation: A Review

Amisalu Milkias Misebo

Abstract


Now, soil erosion, loss of soil fertility, and land degradation due to climate change has been pushing to search for more sustainable systems. Soil and water conservation practice contribute high in the long term agricultural sustainability and sustainable agricultural farming. The objective of this paper is to review the major agronomic practices and their role in soil and water conservation. The review revealed that the major agronomic soil and water conservations practices in Ethiopia are strip cropping, mixed cropping, intercropping, fallowing, mulching, contour ploughing, crop rotation, conservation tillage and agroforestry. The plant canopies, litter and mulching intercept rain by decreasing the amount, intensity and the spatial distribution of the precipitation reaching the soil surface and this protects the soil surface from the direct impact of raindrops which can cause a splash and sheet erosion. In soil and water conservation, this practice is higher than others, because crops and leguminous woody perennials improve and enrich soil conditions by atmospheric nitrogen fixation, an addition of organic matter through litterfall and dead and decaying roots, nutrient cycling, modification of soil porosity and contribution to infiltration rates. It also alleviates and maintains salinity, alkalinity, acidity and waterlogging problems. Hence, the use agronomic practices for soil and water conservation is vital for climate change adaptation and mitigation because it can give both productive role (producing food, fodder, fuel, wood) and protective role (soil conserving functions, windbreaks and shelterbelts).


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jas.v10n6p227

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License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail: jas@ccsenet.org

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