Reviving traditions

Farmers in Burkina Faso's central plateau in Sahel, are turning to traditional practices such as building stone lines, pocket-like pits known as Zaiand permeable stone dams. These increase yields by as much as 80 percent in some of the farms by preventing draining of water, increasing its seepage into soil and by adding extra nutrients. Permeable stone dams built by placing stones across gullies hold back soil and water. The use of straw and cut-grass mulch also increases the output. These techniques not only increase productivity but also revive dried-up wells and trees (Asian Institute of Rural Development (AIRD) News, Vo114, No8).