Construction of trenches in cropland. [Uganda]

Okuteza ebitaba omu ntokye.

approaches_2663 - Uganda

Completeness: 81%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Approach

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Nuwamanya Amon

Ntungamo District.


SLM specialist:

Mushabe Joshua

Ntungamo District


SLM specialist:

Tugaine Richard

Ntungamo District


SLM specialist:

Mazimakwo Kukundakwe

Kabale district.


SLM specialist:

Pollina Elijah

Rwerazi matoke association

Kyenteema parish,Rukoni sub county.


Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
The Transboundary Agro-ecosystem Management Project for the Kagera River Basin (GEF-FAO / Kagera TAMP )
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Kabale District Local Government (Kabale District Local Government) - Uganda
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Ntungamo District - Uganda

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Reference(s) to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Technologies


Trenches [Uganda]

Digging trenches on a gentle slope in banana plantation in Rwerazi.

  • Compiler: Wilson Bamwerinde

2. Description of the SLM Approach

2.1 Short description of the Approach

Farmer field facilitators mobilized and sensitized the land users on the need to control soil erosion in banana plantations and to conserve moisture in the soil.

2.2 Detailed description of the Approach

Detailed description of the Approach:

Aims / objectives: -To control soil erosion.
-To conserve soil moisture in the Banana planation.
-To increase bunch size of bananas and increase household incomes.

Methods: -Mobilizing, sensitizing and training land users in the field of SLM technology.
-Group meeting for example Rwerazi matooke association.
-On-farm training by farmer field school facilitators.

Stages of implementation: -Mobilization of land users in farmer field schools.
-Prioritization of land degradation problems with land users.
-Technologies & approaches to mitigate degradation.
-Training land users in trench construction to control soil erosion.
-Monitoring of the trench construction.
-Evaluation of the effectiveness of the trench construction.

Role of stakeholders: -To monitor and evaluate the use of trenches to increase the productivity.
-Enforcing compliance and group cohesion.

Other important information: FAO through Kagera TAMP project extended financial support to address land degradation problems in the project area.

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Approach has been applied



Region/ State/ Province:


Further specification of location:


2.6 Dates of initiation and termination of the Approach

Indicate year of initiation:


2.7 Type of Approach

  • project/ programme based

2.8 Main aims/ objectives of the Approach

The Approach focused mainly on SLM with other activities (Construction of trenches in banana plantation to control top soil run off and conserve moisture. )

-To control soil erosion.
-To conserve soil moisture.
-To mitigate land degradation.
-To increase banana production.

The SLM Approach addressed the following problems: -Increase in sheet and rill erosion in cropland.
-Decreasing banana bunch size.
-Declining soil fertility.

2.9 Conditions enabling or hindering implementation of the Technology/ Technologies applied under the Approach

availability/ access to financial resources and services
  • hindering

Land user had low income to buy inputs.

Treatment through the SLM Approach: FAO Kagera TAMP project provided financial assistance to some land users after prioritization of the approach to control /mitigate land degradation.

legal framework (land tenure, land and water use rights)
  • enabling

The existing land ownership, land use rights / water rights moderately helped the approach implementation: land users had a right to implement the technology in their areas without disturbance.

knowledge about SLM, access to technical support
  • hindering

Land users had little knowledge and skills about SLM technology in question .

Treatment through the SLM Approach: TOT trained farmers and land users to equip them with knowledge and skills.

3. Participation and roles of stakeholders involved

3.1 Stakeholders involved in the Approach and their roles

  • local land users/ local communities

Committee of stakeholders in implementation. Implementers of the approach and technology

Implementers of the approach

  • SLM specialists/ agricultural advisers

Executing advisory services.

  • NGO

On programing and developing approach

  • national government (planners, decision-makers)
If several stakeholders were involved, indicate lead agency:

Specialists together in farmer field school forum

3.2 Involvement of local land users/ local communities in the different phases of the Approach
Involvement of local land users/ local communities Specify who was involved and describe activities
initiation/ motivation interactive Land users and specialists.
planning self-mobilization planned and involved in farmer field groups.
implementation self-mobilization Farmer field school members implemented the approach.
monitoring/ evaluation self-mobilization selected monitoring and evaluation officer , national steering committee members, specialists, farmer field facilitators & group members.
Research none

3.4 Decision-making on the selection of SLM Technology/ Technologies

Specify who decided on the selection of the Technology/ Technologies to be implemented:
  • mainly land users, supported by SLM specialists

Specialists raised awareness among the land users about the SLM technologies . Land users later opted for trenches. They were supported by FAO Kagera TAMP specialists through trainings and financial assistance.

Decisions on the method of implementing the SLM Technology were made by mainly by land users supported by SLM specialists. After awareness made by specialists the land users took an initiative organized in farmer field schools and implemented the approach.

4. Technical support, capacity building, and knowledge management

4.1 Capacity building/ training

Was training provided to land users/ other stakeholders?


Form of training:
  • farmer-to-farmer
Form of training:
  • Workshops /seminars.
Subjects covered:

Group formation, SLM practices, Farmer field strengthening.

4.2 Advisory service

Do land users have access to an advisory service?


Specify whether advisory service is provided:
  • on land users' fields
  • at permanent centres
Describe/ comments:

Name of method used for advisory service: Training; Key elements: Brainstorming., Participatory problem solving. , Demonstration of technologies.

Advisory service is quite adequate to ensure the continuation of land conservation activities; With the introduction of National agricultural advisory services.

4.3 Institution strengthening (organizational development)

Have institutions been established or strengthened through the Approach?
  • no

4.4 Monitoring and evaluation

Is monitoring and evaluation part of the Approach?



technical aspects were ad hoc monitored by land users through observations; indicators: Are technical specifications met?

economic / production aspects were regular monitored by land users through observations; indicators: Quantity of banana bunch increasing from 20kg /bunch.

no. of land users involved aspects were None monitored by land users through observations; indicators: Is the number of farmers digging trenches increasing or decreasing.

There were few changes in the Approach as a result of monitoring and evaluation: Some trenches which had been done before monitoring have been remodeled/designed to suit the purpose.

There were few changes in the Technology as a result of monitoring and evaluation: New trenches are constructed on the contour unlike before.

4.5 Research

Was research part of the Approach?


  • AESA
Give further details and indicate who did the research:

By land users and specialists in farmer field schools on experimental plots in the field.

Research was carried out both on station and on-farm

5. Financing and external material support

5.1 Annual budget for the SLM component of the Approach

If precise annual budget is not known, indicate range:
  • < 2,000
Comments (e.g. main sources of funding/ major donors):

Approach costs were met by the following donors: international (FAO &GEF ): 90.0%; local community / land user(s) (land user): 10.0%

5.2 Financial/ material support provided to land users

Did land users receive financial/ material support for implementing the Technology/ Technologies?


5.3 Subsidies for specific inputs (including labour)

  • equipment
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
tools partly financed
If labour by land users was a substantial input, was it:
  • paid in cash

Transport refund for meetings, food/lunch on meeting days, payment for some inputs.

FAO & GEF through Kagera TAMP project extended funds to undertake SLM practices e.g. trench construction.

5.4 Credit

Was credit provided under the Approach for SLM activities?


Specify credit receivers:

Some land users like Polina Eliah

6. Impact analysis and concluding statements

6.1 Impacts of the Approach

Did the Approach help land users to implement and maintain SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Improved drainage during rainy season , controlled water runoffs, improved dispersed and conversion of water.

Did the Approach empower socially and economically disadvantaged groups?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

No group of disadvantaged was pronounced.

Did other land users / projects adopt the Approach?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The once 50 land users increased to 100 users adopting approach. Neighbors trying to adopt the approach.

Did the Approach lead to improved livelihoods / human well-being?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Food security ,improved income and access to basic needs.

Did the Approach help to alleviate poverty?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Food security , enough income to buy basic needs, poor people paid for labour and employment.

6.2 Main motivation of land users to implement SLM

  • increased production

To increase productivity.

  • increased profit(ability), improved cost-benefit-ratio

Income more than costs.

  • rules and regulations (fines)/ enforcement

Rwerazi group cohesion.

6.3 Sustainability of Approach activities

Can the land users sustain what has been implemented through the Approach (without external support)?
  • yes
If yes, describe how:

The farmer field schools are incorporated into NAADS and the NAADS will continue to mobilize the school members until co-operative union is formed to help bulk marketing of bananas.

6.4 Strengths/ advantages of the Approach

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
1. Active farmer field school. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Formation learning & saving groups among farmer field schools. )
2. Group marketing of matoke. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Group marketing on behalf of members. )

6.5 Weaknesses/ disadvantages of the Approach and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
1. High costs of maintenance of trenches. maintenance of trenches be done after short regular intervals before a lot of work is required.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
1. Trenches require regular maintenance costs. maintenance be done at short regular intervals before much money is required.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys
  • interviews with land users

Links and modules

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