Sustainable Land Management (SLM) technologies are only one part of the story to stop land degradation: it´s time to think beyond technologies and their application on individual fields. Adaptive management can help steer and adjust SLM programmes in alignment with farmers’ needs and local realities.
Hunger and malnutrition infographic: 1 out of 9 people go hungry. Soil degradation causes on average 8% yield reductions per year in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Soil may be the most important resource we don´t talk about. It fulfils the vital role of storing and filtering water and holding nutrients and microorganisms. Soil forms the basis for 95% of global food production and stores more carbon than all plants above the surface of the earth.
Soils regulate surface runoff and decrease the risk of flooding. Soils filter chemicals, pollutants and bacteria from water.
Globally, the top 30 cm of soil stores approx. 680 billion tonnes of carbon. Even more than the amount of carbon stored by vegetation: 560 billion tonnes. Restoring degraded soils can remove up to 63 billion tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.
Each year we lose 12–22 million tonnes of organic phosphorus and 23–24 million tonnes of nitrogen are lost due to erosion. 2 billion people suffer from nutrient deficiencies.
1.3 billion smallholders farm on degraded land. In Africa, 20 million tonnes of grain per year are lost due to erosion. 84% of all farms in the world are less than 2 hectares in size.
The cost of inaction against soil erosion in Africa is equivalent to 127 billion USD per year. Acting against soil erosion on cropland would create benefits of about 62.4 billion USD per year in 42 African countries.
Soils are home to genetic and biodiversity.
Fertile soils contain all major (N, P, K) and minor (Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Zn, Cu, B, Mo, Ni) nutrients required to produce healthy food.
TMG Research and the civil society organisation Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) worked together to identify barriers to sustainable land management (SLM) in Mandla in a participatory research process.
We support the implementation of the global programme Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, India and Kenya.
TMG Research operates in western Kenya, in the counties of Bungoma, Kakamega and Siaya. Together with local partners, we support GIZ to implement the Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security project.
TMG Research has supported the Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) project of GIZ in East Gojjam in the Amhara region of Ethiopia since 2015.
In Burkina Faso, together with our partner GRAF, we focused on insecure land tenure as a major obstacle to sustainable land management (SLM).
TMG Research has worked closely with the GIZ programme Protection et Réhabilitation des sols pour améliorer la sécurité alimentaire (ProSOL) in Benin since 2015.
Locally adapted innovations to tackle soil fertility decline can emerge through interaction and communication among farmers, researchers and agricultural extension officers. In our collaborative adoption research in the highlands of the Amhara region, we supported adaptive programme management.
Entrusting communities with leadership in the sharing of knowledge and practices for sustainable land management (SLM) can catalyze the diffusion of SLM technologies. In northern Benin, TMG has taken a first step towards improving existing farmer-to-farmer extension strategies.
In Ethiopia, about 60 per cent of farming households operate less than one hectare of land each. Many of those farms are split and dispersed in the landscape, known as land fragmentation. Fragmentation affects farmers’ ability to sustainably and effectively manage their land. TMG Research has explored the potential of voluntary land consolidation.
Circumstances and incentives for farmers to take part in land consolidation
Number of parcels and distance from homestead of selected smallholders in Addisnagulit Kebele.
In sub-Saharan Africa and India many programmes for sustainable land management (SLM) are implemented in contexts where most land is governed under customary law. Many farmers, especially women, have insecure access to land and little incentive to invest in soil protection in the long run.
Recommandations à l’intention des décideurs politiques et des concepteurs de programmes, basées sur des données probantes issues d’études de cas au Bénin et au Burkina Faso.Working Paper 2019
The Tem Sesiabun Gorado (TSG) model is a farmer-to-farmer technology diffusion model. It seeks to address common shortcomings
of conventional farmer-to-farmer extension approaches, in particular with respect to accountability mechanisms and sustaining the
motivation of farmer trainers.
Recommendations for policy makers, and programme implementers, based on evidence from case studies in Benin and Burkina Faso.Working Paper 2019
Exploring voluntary land consolidation as an instrument to tackle one important SLM adoption challenge – land fragmentation: insights and recommendations on a way forward from TMG’s work in Ethiopia.Working Paper 2019
The purpose of this guide is to provide target actors with a tool for the conduct of an alternative process for securing access to land for women.Technical Guide 2018
This Facilitator’s Guide is intended for practitioners involved in supporting smallholder farming communities in the development of tools to enhance access to land through leasing. It is based on experience gained in piloting community-led land lease guidelines in Kakamega County in Kenya but can be adapted to other contexts.Technical Guide 2019
Process of securing land access for women in Tiarako, Burkina Faso
Tem Sesiabun Gorado Technology Diffusion Model
Process of developing community-led land lease guidelines (LLG)
Challenges for agricultural extension
Gender distribution of the community-based agents and their farmer-learners in the village of Kabanou and Sinawongourou
Despite decades of experience and investments, sustainable land management (SLM) still faces challenges to achieve long-term practice of SLM among smallholder farmers: when programmes end support, farmers often also stop applying the technologies.
The livelihoods of people across the district of Mandla in the state of Madhya Pradesh depends on rice cultivation like in most of India. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) was introduced 20 years ago to boost yields by optimal use of inputs, water, and land. Irrigation is crucial for the success of SRI, but only one in five farmers in Mandla has access to irrigation.
We need healthy soils to produce food, store carbon for climate change mitigation, and provide clean drinking water. Fortunately, there is no shortage of technologies to protect and restore soils. But farmers still struggle to protect their soil.
Many smallholder farmers in Kenya feel their interests are under-represented in agricultural policy-making processes. The existing farmers’ associations lack effective mechanisms for engaging with policy makers. What is needed is an innovative platform to formalise effective cooperation, like a Governor’s Day with Farmers!
Leasing farming land is a common practice in rural Kenya. But existing legal provisions for leasing land are unclear and the official process costly. Community-led land lease guidelines are accessible to resource-poor smallholders.
TMG Research and institutional stakeholders of the agricultural sector in western Kenya adopted a peer review process as a platform where stakeholders critically examined options for providing effective agricultural extension services. The peer review addressed targeting the poor and promoting sustainable land management.
These sentiments by a farmer in western Kenya are common amongst farmers, many of whom are referred to as smallholder farmers because they farm on land that is less than two and a half times the size of a football pitch.
Farmers running the risk of losing their land cannot invest in soil management. Women in western Burkina Faso are in this situation. Together with our partner GRAF, we have developed a social innovation to improve women’s tenure situation within the family farm.
Technical solutions to soil degradation are plentiful. And yet, smallholder farmers struggle to preserve soil health. One important dimension we often overlook is gender.
L’objectif du guide est de mettre à la disposition des acteurs cibles un outil leur permettant de conduire un processus alternatif de sécurisation de l’accès des femmes à la terre.Guide technique 2018
Policy Brief on Coordination of Extension Services in West Kenya.Policy Brief 2018
Étude de cas dans les communes de Kandi,
Bembèrèkè, Djidja et Bantè
Étude de cas des villages de Bouéré et Tiarako.Working Paper 2017
Ce rapport compile les résultats des réflexions des ateliers tenus dans le cadre de l'analyse sur les expériences en GDT au Burkina Faso.Workshop Report 2016
Synthesis study report on the past successes and constraints in promoting sustainable land management (SLM) technologies in western Kenya.Baseline Study Synthesis 2017
Soil Rehabilitation for Poverty Reduction, Food Security, Climate Change Adaptation, and Biodiversity Protection.Policy Brief 2017
Rapport de synthèse sur l´analyse des projets de GDT au Burkina Faso.Baseline Study Synthesis 2017
Rapport de synthèse sur l´analyse des projets de GDT au Bénin.Baseline Study Synthesis 2017
Strategic recommendations for targeting smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and India.Study Extension Services 2016
Ce rapport compile les résultats des réflexions des ateliers tenus dans le cadre de l'analyse sur les expériences en GDT au Bénin.Workshop Report 2016
Report on stakeholder workshop on lessons learned in sustainable land management programmes in Western Kenya.Workshop Report 2016
This booklet narrates how the community of Isukha Central Ward, in Kakamega County, Kenya, piloted development of Land Lease Guidelines in 2017.Technical Guide 2017