Community supported pasture and rangeland rehabilitation works [Angola]

technologies_3141 - Angola

Completeness: 88%

1. General information

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

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Reabilitação de terras e gestão das áreas de pastagem nos sistemas de produção agro-pastoris dos pequenos produtores no sudoeste de Angola (RETESA)
Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Book project: Guidelines to Rangeland Management in Sub-Saharan Africa (Rangeland Management)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
FAO Angola (FAO Angola) - Angola

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

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


1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Rehabilitation of rangelands involves selection of key pasture and fodder species, and their reintroduction into strategic areas through stakeholder participation. The technology is also supported by communal management plans, which were created to address the root causes of land degradation.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


This technology was developed and implemented through the RETESA Project “Land rehabilitation and rangelands management in smallholder agropastoral production systems in south-western Angola”. RETESA is a project owned and implemented by the Ministry of Environment of the Government of Angola, with technical and methodological assistance from The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Inappropriate grazing regimes and poor livestock management by pastoral communities in SW Angola have led to degradation of rangeland and pastoral resources, with perennial grassland species and shrubs having been effectively eliminated. This is despite the fact that the pastoral communities of the area know their environment extremely well and are aware of the land degradation happening around them. Under the project they identified crucial areas for rehabilitation works, selecting mostly areas around water points that have been in use both by local and transhumant herders. Through these works, the local community sought to (a) increase ground cover to reduce sediment loads entering waterways (erosion control), (b) provide shade for livestock, (c) increase forage production and (d) introduce legumes and multipurpose forage trees in areas of high animal traffic. A total of four areas in the Bibala and Virei Municipalities were identified for the activities.
The communities were closely involved in the selection and propagation of plant species for the rehabilitation works. The project field staff also ran field palatability trials with them to confirm that the plants selected met their expectations. These participatory trials were also aimed at enhancing their understanding of livestock nutrition and how it related to animal health. Once the species were chosen, seed was collected by the communities and the Project Technicians, and was multiplied in 32 Agro-Pastoral Field School Nurseries and 2 Government funded Veterinary Research Stations. A total of 15 species were identified, with the grasses Eragrostis superba, Urochloa mosambicensis, and the trees Acacia nilotica, Faidherbia albida, Leucaena leucocephala and Moringa oleifera being the most valued by the communities as forage and multipurpose species. The trees were germinated from seed with success. However, native grass species failed to germinate by standard methods - early field trials having ruled out direct seeding methods. Thus they were multiplied by root division of plants collected from cultivated fields. This avoided removal of grass from natural areas.
As the majority of the areas selected for the rehabilitation works were focused around water points and waterways, the soils were generally alluvial, sandy loams. Precipitation is highest in the areas to the north: it ranges from 600 mm in the upper areas of the Bibala Municipality to 200 mm in the areas to the south in Virei. In general, the vegetation communities could be described as dry sclerophyll woodlands with Colophospermum mopane being the dominant tree species, with forest cover decreasing in height and density as one moves south toward drier areas.
Through close collaboration with the participant communities, three rehabilitation methods were designed and improved upon throughout the Project's duration. Method 1 was used to plant open areas within the rehabilitation zone, Method 2 was employed to introduce and protect concentrated plantings of the selected species in strategic locations within the landscape, and Method 3 was preferred for the recuperation of riparian vegetation and to reduce sediment loads in waterways. The three methods used are described in more detail in the Technical Drawings. To increase the sense of ownership and thus the sustained effectiveness of the rehabilitation works, land management plans and other supporting activities were also carried out.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:

Province of Namibe

Further specification of location:

Municipalities of Bibala and Virei

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • applied at specific points/ concentrated on a small area

There are 3 main rehabilitation areas, all within the Namibe Province in Southern Angola.
Planting areas are selected due to their importance and relevance to the local communities. For the most part, the plantings have been centred around key water points. In order to increase impact and scale up the process of rangeland rehabilitation and improvement, management plans are negotiated and agreed upon by the communities through the Green Negotiated Territorial Development Approach (GreeNTD) processes.

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions
Comments (type of project, etc.):

The proposed project: “Land rehabilitation and rangelands management in smallholders’ agropastoral production systems in southwestern Angola” (RETESA) is a joint effort by the Ministério do Ambiente (MA), Ministério da Agricultura e do Desenvolvimento Rural e das Pescas (MINANDER), Governo Provincial do Namibe, Governo Provincial do Huila, and Governo Provincial de Benguela, together with FAO and GEF. In line with the GEF-5 Land Degradation strategy, the project’s goal is to create an enhanced enabling environment in the agricultural sector and a sustained flow of agro-ecosystem services.

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • conserve ecosystem
  • preserve/ improve biodiversity
  • reduce risk of disasters
  • adapt to climate change/ extremes and its impacts
  • mitigate climate change and its impacts
  • create beneficial economic impact

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Grazing land

Grazing land

Extensive grazing:
  • Semi-nomadic pastoralism
  • Transhumance movements
Animal type:
  • cattle - dairy
  • cattle - non-dairy beef
  • goats
Products and services:
  • meat
  • milk
Waterways, waterbodies, wetlands

Waterways, waterbodies, wetlands

  • Drainage lines, waterways
  • Ponds, dams
  • Natural springs

Number of growing seasons per year: 1
Livestock density: Official data is not available and true livestock numbers are unknown.

3.3 Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?

Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?
  • Yes (Please fill out the questions below with regard to the land use before implementation of the Technology)

Crop land is increasing in the area as population increases and people move towards more sedimentary livelihoods.

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • pastoralism and grazing land management
  • improved ground/ vegetation cover

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

vegetative measures

vegetative measures

  • V1: Tree and shrub cover
  • V2: Grasses and perennial herbaceous plants
management measures

management measures

  • M2: Change of management/ intensity level

The management plans created at the community and administrative level identify a number of large areas which are to serve as 'Grazing Reverses' for the dry season. Therefore, the agreements call for all livestock to abandon the area at the onset of the first rains and not return until the Pastoral Management Forum agrees to open the area for grazing. Once open, the range is available to all pastoralists, those that live in the immediate area and those moving through on their transhumance migration.

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
  • Wr: riverbank erosion
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover
  • Bh: loss of habitats
  • Bq: quantity/ biomass decline
  • Bs: quality and species composition/ diversity decline
  • Bl: loss of soil life

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • reduce land degradation
  • restore/ rehabilitate severely degraded land

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

Planting is typically based on three different methods, as seen in the figure above.
- Method 1 relies on placing a leguminous, multipurpose tree species in the ground with two native grass species to each side of the tree. The holes are dug and a small amount of manure is placed in the bottom of the hole, adding some water if it is readily available. Then the trees and grasses are planted and well-watered. Finally, a branch or two of thorny shrubs or trees are placed over the plants to protect them from being grazed (where possible, dead branches should be used, rather than cutting living plants).
- Method 2 requires the creation of an enclosed, protected area which is then planted at high densities, preferably in low-lying areas where adequate soil moisture is available. Dry, dead branches from thorny trees and shrubs are used to create the enclosures and provide protection to these plantings.
- Method 3 is based on the creation of a 'leaky weir', which is a small stone barrier, horizontal to the flow of water (on the contour) planted with a mixture of native riparian species. This is intended to slow the flow of water and stimulate the recovery of riparian vegetation. The plants are also protected with dry, dead branches from thorny trees and shrubs in this method.
To increase their effectiveness, it is recommended that the three methods be combined within the landscape, as seen in the 4th slide 'Field application of methods'.


Projecto RETESA



4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology unit
Specify unit:

3345 seedlings produced, delivered and planted

Specify dimensions of unit (if relevant):

3345 units

Specify currency used for cost calculations:
  • USD
Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

6 Dollars

4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Meetings and field visits with participant communities to identify plant species and their uses Best during growing season
2. Further meetings to decide on which species are to be multiplied and arrange seed collection Near end of growing season
3. Seed collection and transportation When seed is available (varies with species)
4. Instalation of irrigation systems Most communiites need a water extraction and distribution system to create nurseries
5. Delivery of nursery supplies and instalation of shade cloth Nurseries should have water access and shade
6. Planting of seeds and care for seedlings at nursery Formed part of Agro-Pastoral Farmer Field School activities
7. Identification of planting areas and timing Should be at beginning of rainy season, or when soil moisture permits
8. Organisation of materials and tools At least 1 week before the planting
9. Planting day (preparation of planting holes and transplanting of seedlings) 2 days maximum was seen to be optimal
10. Watering until the plants are established Usually a maximum of 3 watering over 1 week after the plantings
11. Follow up visits to make sure management agreements are being respected and plants are not being eaten by stock until they are ready Plants should not be grazed for at least 6 months from planting time until they are well established

The activities and costs given were those needed to produce and plant 3,345 trees and grasses in the 4 rehabilitation areas. Given that 3,345 plants were produced at a cost of $3284.75, the cost per plant produced and planted in the field is $0.98. Seedlings available through local, government nurseries were $2.00 per unit, but only exotic ornamentals were available. However, it can be expected that in other contexts and locations, it would be cheaper to buy seedlings, instead of training communities and creating numerous small-scale nurseries, though clearly these communities will not ‘own’ the process as well as if they were involved from the beginning.

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Project Technicians/Drivers/Consultants, etc Person-days 30.0 20.0 600.0
Labour Plant identification activities and seed collection Person-days 10.0 6.0 60.0 100.0
Labour Plant nursery creation and plant production Person-days 16.0 6.0 96.0 100.0
Labour Participation during planting days Person-days 25.0 10.0 250.0 90.0
Equipment Vehicle Trips 10.0 40.0 400.0
Equipment Nursery supplies (including water system which also supplies water to Farmer Field School) Materials 1.0 800.0 800.0 10.0
Equipment Planting supplies (shovels, hoes, wheelbarrows, etc.) Materials 1.0 120.0 120.0
Equipment Other improvements to water point (fencing, cement blocks, cement, hoses, etc.) Materials 1.0 250.0 250.0
Equipment Maps (traced onto paper from projected images for management purposes) Materials 1.0 10.0 10.0
Equipment Food and Refreshments Per person 25.0 2.5 62.5
Fertilizers and biocides Manure (50 grams per sack, 12.500 sacks) Kilos 625.0 0.25 156.25 100.0
Construction material Shade-cloth m2 320.0 1.5 480.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 3284.75
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 3284.75
If land user bore less than 100% of costs, indicate who covered the remaining costs:

Remaining costs were provided by the RETESA Project.


Production depends on the ability of the pastoral communities to produce viable plants. If they are unable to do so, then plants can be bought from Government funded nurseries, though costs per plant will most rise though it can substitute the need for having to purchase a water supply system. The total shown here reflects a percentage (16%) of the costs of installing a water system that supplied water to the whole of the Agro-Pastoral Farmer Field School. These systems usually included a 10,000 litre water tank, a gasoline water pump, extraction pipe and parts, 100 to 200 mts of 1.5" hoses and parts and 3 kms of drip irrigation hose.

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Meetings to ensure management agreements are being respected. Once every 3 to 6 months, especially before and after rainy season.
2. Repairs and replacement of nursery supplies. Once a year.
3. Replanting of dead seedlings Just before and during rainy season.

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Visits to sites and tour of planting areas. Person-days 4.0 20.0 80.0 50.0
Labour Driver. Person-days 1.0 20.0 20.0
Labour Replanting of dead seedlings Person-days 2.0 6.0 12.0 100.0
Labour Watering Person-days 14.0 6.0 84.0 100.0
Equipment Vehicle Trips 1.0 40.0 40.0
Equipment Watering cans and buckets Materials 4.0 5.0 20.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 256.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 256.0
If land user bore less than 100% of costs, indicate who covered the remaining costs:

The RETESA Project provided an important part of both material and technical support to the communities, though the communities also contributed substantially.

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The activities and costs given were those needed to produce and plant 3,345 trees and grasses in the 4 rehabilitation areas. Given that 3.345 plants were produced at a cost of $3284.75, the cost per plant produced and planted in the field is $0.98. Seedlings avaliable through local, government nurseries were $2.00 per unit, but only exotic ornamentals were avaliable. However, it can be expected that in other contexts and locations, it would be cheaper to buy seedlings instead of training communities and creating numerous small scale nurseries, though clearly these communities will not appropriate the process as well as if they were involved from the beginning.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

In the past, the rainy season started in October or November and ran until May. However, the rains in the last few years have fallen in January to April.

Indicate the name of the reference meteorological station considered:

None in the area.

Agro-climatic zone
  • semi-arid

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • not relevant
Comments and further specifications on topography:

Usually the planting are undertaken along river plains and river banks, as they are the only areas that have the necessary soil moisture to ensure survival of the seedlings.

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • coarse/ light (sandy)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • coarse/ light (sandy)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • low (<1%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

< 5 m

Availability of surface water:

poor/ none

Water quality (untreated):

poor drinking water (treatment required)

Is water salinity a problem?



Many bores and wells cannot be used due to Salinity problems. Before planting, it is wise to make sure soil salinity is not problematic in areas identified.

Is flooding of the area occurring?




Comments and further specifications on water quality and quantity:

Water quality and quantity are major issues for the area. There are few if any reliable water sources in the area and most communities depend on wells dug in the river bottoms to supply their water.

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium
Habitat diversity:
  • low
Comments and further specifications on biodiversity:

The area is devoid of most wild animals due to the years of war the country experienced during the second half of the 20th century.

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Sedentary or nomadic:
  • Semi-nomadic
Market orientation of production system:
  • subsistence (self-supply)
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • very poor
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • women
  • men
Age of land users:
  • youth
  • middle-aged
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

The communities are still traditional though are currently being influenced by the globalisation process.

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • large-scale

Agricultural plots are considered private and are usually between 1 to 2 hectares, though grazing land, which makes up the majority of the area, is still commonly owned and covers vast areas.

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • communal/ village
Land use rights:
  • open access (unorganized)
Water use rights:
  • open access (unorganized)

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


fodder production

Quantity before SLM:

Low rangeland production

Quantity after SLM:

Slight improvement

Comments/ specify:

Difficult to measure. Rehabilitation works and the management plans for the rangeland areas have led to some improvement, though the droughts affecting the area during the interventions significantly affected rangeland fodder production.

fodder quality

Quantity before SLM:

No crop residues or fodder plantings used

Quantity after SLM:

Crop residues and fodder plantings incorporated in cropping areas

Comments/ specify:

The process allowed Project Technicians to educate communities on the use of crop residues as fodder and the planting of multiuse trees within cropping areas to provide green fodder in the dry season. The reintroduction of drought tolerant, quality indigenous grasses should also lead an increase in fodder production over the coming year.

animal production

Quantity before SLM:

No planning for dry season grazing, apart from transhumance movements

Quantity after SLM:

Crop residues and other cultivated forages produced for those animals that stay

Comments/ specify:

The transhumance movements of livestock are still seen as the most adequate solution to changes in natural rangeland production, though most families leave behind some animals with the main family unit. These animals are now receiving the quality feed they need to remain productive and healthy.

land management

Quantity before SLM:

No management plans in place for commonly managed natural resources

Quantity after SLM:

Participatory land management plans have been negociated and agreed

Comments/ specify:

Simplified land management plans based on traditional livestock movements and cropping seasons have been negotiated and agreed by local stakeholders and municipal Administrators.

Water availability and quality

drinking water quality

Quantity before SLM:

Livestock and communities drink from same water

Quantity after SLM:

Separate water drinking points for livestock and community

Comments/ specify:

Unrestricted access of livestock to community domestic water points led to waterborne diseases and poor water quality. Separating livestock and domestic use has improved community health.

water availability for livestock

Comments/ specify:

In addition to restricting livestock access to main water bodies, new drinking troughs have been built with community support.

water quality for livestock

Comments/ specify:

By separating livestock drinking points and domestic water points, waterborne illnesses have been reduced. In at least one area a water tank and new drinking trough have been built with community support.

Socio-cultural impacts

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

Quantity before SLM:

No education or training on land degradation

Quantity after SLM:

Education and training on land degradation issues and rehabilitation methods

Comments/ specify:

The majority of communities that have gone through the process now understand how poor land management leads to land degradation and steps they can take to reduce it.

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

water quantity

Comments/ specify:

Improved ground cover and the return of riparian vegetation would increase infiltration rates and decrease evapotranspiration rates and restore the micro water cycle. But this is also a long term process.

water quality

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:

Low in short term, improved in long term

Comments/ specify:

Revegetation of river plains and river banks should lead to improved water quality though it will be a long term effect if the rehabilitation areas are respected.

surface runoff

Quantity before SLM:

No method to deal with the high surface runoff rates in the area

Quantity after SLM:

A method has been devised for reducing surface runoff rates.

Comments/ specify:

The 'leaky weir' method (Rehabilitation method 3) has shown promise over the duration of the Project and could be applied at other landscape levels to reduce surface runoff.


soil cover

Comments/ specify:

The reintroduction of native grasses in the area should lead to improved ground cover, binding the soil and reducing erosion rates.

soil loss

Comments/ specify:

The reintroduction of native grasses in the area should lead to improved ground cover ratios, binding the soil and reducing erosion rates.

nutrient cycling/ recharge

Comments/ specify:

Proper livestock management also ensures that manure is properly and evenly distributed in the field.

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

Vegetation cover

Quantity before SLM:

Reduced number of poor quality grass species

Quantity after SLM:

Communities capacitated in plant multiplication methods

Comments/ specify:

Apart from the rehabilitation works themselves, the local communities have been capacitated with methods to approach and deal with land degradation.

biomass/ above ground C


plant diversity

Comments/ specify:

The reintroduction of native and leguminous plants has improved plant diversity both within rehabilitation areas and cultivated lands.

Climate and disaster risk reduction

drought impacts



Comments/ specify:

The works around the water points over time should lead to increase in vegetative cover, shade, habitat and reduced temperatures.

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

buffering/ filtering capacity


6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season increase or decrease How does the Technology cope with it?
annual rainfall decrease well
seasonal rainfall spring decrease well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

neutral/ balanced

Long-term returns:


How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

neutral/ balanced

Long-term returns:


6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • single cases/ experimental
Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 0-10%

6.6 Adaptation

Has the Technology been modified recently to adapt to changing conditions?


6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Communities learn about plants' role in the wider ecosystem, how to select and multiply key fruit, fodder or timber species and should see an increase in their horticultural and livestock production, leading to improved nutrition or income.
Done properly, it can be a cost-effective and reliable way to produce the plants needed within family units.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
When the plants are produced in collaboration with the local pastoral communities, the benefits are wide ranging, promoting everything from environmental awareness to technical and practical knowledge.
It remains a cost-effective way of improving key productive species and increasing community resilience.
Increasing biomass and introducing better management cycles contribute to reducing land degradation and improve nutrient and energy cycling.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Can require stable supply of water, and labour costs can increase if water sources are not easily accessible. Locate nurseries near reliable and accessible water sources.
Can require permanent residence, so as to be able to care for plants until they are developed and placed in the ground at the proper date in the calendar (before or during rainy season). Not easy in nomadic cultures.
Early attempts often fail to produce lasting results. Concentrate early efforts on small experimental plots so as to fine-tune planting methods and timing.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
The technology is usually not suitable for large areas of land (>1,000 hectares). Compliment any rehabilitation efforts with improved management plans which are developed with stakeholder input and approval.
Plant losses are typically high, especially if rains fail to arrive, or if the year is abnormally dry. Watch weather forecast to try and focus planting campaigns on those days with a high probability of rain.
Local species are often not valued by local officials and technicians, leading to a predominance of exotic species in rehabilitation works. Undertake awareness and training sessions which highlight the value and uses of native species with local land users and administrative officials.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys

The Project has a number of activities in the communities where the technology was used so there were numerous visits and interviews.

  • interviews with land users

Various information and survey methods were used throughout the RETESA Project, providing a solid basis from which to involve landusers and SLM specialists in decisionmaking processes.

  • interviews with SLM specialists/ experts

3 SLM specialists.

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


7.3 Links to relevant online information

Title/ description:

FAO in Action: Using indigenous knowledge to reverse land degradation in Angola.


Links and modules

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