Climate change is one of the factors affecting agricultural activities. Climate change refers to a broad array of changes in climatic and weather conditions. Climate change can be caused by both natural and human activities which might include: industrialisation, deforestation, destruction of ecosystems, agriculture and livestock, transportation, energy production, waste, urbanisation, and changes in land use.
The increased concentration of greenhouse gases makes our atmosphere store more heat from the sun thereby increasing the temperature on earth. This results in global warming. The higher the temperature, the more severe the weather conditions will be.
Farmers have been struggling with the effects of changing climatic conditions on their animals and/or plants. In order to ensure food security and sustain livelihoods it is becoming increasingly important for farmers and other stakeholders to find ways of adapting to and/or reducing the negative impacts of changing climates, and improving their farming practices through Sustainable Agriculture Land Management (SALM) activities.
With the reality of Climate Change ascertained, we therefore need to sustain practice for healthy food production. One of such is SALM, Sustainable Agriculture Land Management (SALM). It is a practise for farmers to adapt to the impacts of climate change and achieve increased environmental resilience in different climate or agro-ecological zones. The importance of SALM includes:
- Ensuring agricultural productivity in the short-and-long-term;
- The potential to reverse land degradation;
- Preserving and enhancing productive capacity of cropland, forest land and grazing land, including uplands, lands on slopes, flat lands and bottom lands etc.
Common SALM practices include: Mulching, Use of compost, integrated farming, Use of Agroforestry trees, Use of trenches etc. For a farmer to be regarded as using sustainable practice, he/she must have adopted at least three of the above.
In SALM, pest and rodents are controlled physically, biologically or with the use of environmental friendly chemical.
According to Vi-agroforestry, it was stated that the best animal manure is poultry droppings in the wet form because dried poultry drop have lost Nitrogen.
Data: there is an average of 0.6 hectares of land per household in Rwanda, thus SALM is key towards a hunger free population.
SALM gives hope for healthy food production in this era of unpredictable weather. We once again understand mulching, integrated farming and the use of natural manure as a core practice to sustainably manage our environmental resources.