Adding soil [Syrian Arab Republic]

approaches_2624 - Syrian Arab Republic

Completeness: 78%

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:
SLM specialist:
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) - Germany

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

Adding Soil

Adding Soil [Syrian Arab Republic]

To add red (fertile, nutrient rich) valley soil to degraded white soil on slopes (in olive orchards)

  • Compiler: Liesbeth Colen

2. Description of the SLM Approach

2.2 Detailed description of the Approach

Detailed description of the Approach:

Aims / objectives: Observation of spontaneously spread analysis. Management invented by farmers themselves, in a later stage it should be adapted or combined with conservation strategies.

Methods: Semi-structured individual interviews and group discussions in the area where the measure is spontaneously adopted.

Stages of implementation: For now only the initial stage: Farmers applying the measure, but to make ita a developed, sustainable and conservation it should be combined with other conservation strategies to make it a complete, sustainable land management strategy,

Role of stakeholders: Technique developed by farmers themselves, they pass information among each other.

Other important information: Can not yet be considered as a real conservation strategy. Till now no interventions from scientists/institutions has been done. Only observation and analysis of this existing land management practice.

2.3 Photos of the Approach

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


Syrian Arab Republic

Region/ State/ Province:

Afrin and Idleb

2.8 Main aims/ objectives of the Approach

The Approach focused on SLM only

replace top soil which was eroded during rainfalls, increase soil fertility, protect soil from further erosion

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

availability/ access to financial resources and services
  • hindering

costly, requires investment

Treatment through the SLM Approach: but applicable at small scale to spread costs over many years.

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

The existing land ownership, land use rights / water rights helped a little the approach implementation: In areas without private land ownership farmers have less possibilities (if illegal cultivation on forest land) or incentives (if governmental agricultural land) to change the land by adding soil.

  • hindering

Soil is taken away, which is not legal in all cases, lack of clear laws

Treatment through the SLM Approach: need for laws concerning this land management

knowledge about SLM, access to technical support
  • hindering

physical environmewnt: can not be implemented on very steep land (tractor cannot reach)

Treatment through the SLM Approach:

3. Participation and roles of stakeholders involved

3.1 Stakeholders involved in the Approach and their roles

  • local land users/ local communities

Working land users were mainly men

Only in some exceptional cases farmers' women are interviewed

Decisionmaking done by men, they pass information among each other

Each farmer decides on his own if he wants to try out this technology, economic status only determines the scope (to add soil on onlay a few trees = less expensive, or on all trees = rather done by wealthier farmers)

  • SLM specialists/ agricultural advisers

Only in some exceptional cases farmers' women are interviewed.

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 self-mobilization
planning self-mobilization The practice spread spontaneously to neighbouring villages and district
implementation self-mobilization responsibility for major steps, casual labour; Farmers adopt the practice spontaneously. Some extension officers start advicing the practice
monitoring/ evaluation passive Olive bureau Idleb experimented the addition of white soil on red fields. Recently samples are taken from farmers' fields to analyze the benefits. In the evaluation itself the farmers are not involved, they only agree that soil samples are taken and production is measured.
Research passive Research od social and economic aspects, farmers are passively involved by interviewing and group discussions.

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

Specify who decided on the selection of the Technology/ Technologies to be implemented:
  • land users alone (self-initiative)

Decisions on the method of implementing the SLM Technology were made by by land users* alone (self-initiative / bottom-up)

4. Technical support, capacity building, and knowledge management

4.1 Capacity building/ training

Was training provided to land users/ other stakeholders?


4.2 Advisory service

Do land users have access to an advisory service?


Describe/ comments:

Advisory service is inadequate to ensure the continuation of land conservation activities; Extension officers will be informed about the lack of sustainability and the need of combination with land management strategies, information/training about the implementation of this conservation strategies however is still lacking

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?



bio-physical aspects were ad hoc monitored by 0 through measurements; indicators: None

socio-cultural aspects were ad hoc monitored by 0 through observations; indicators: None

economic / production aspects were ad hoc monitored by 0 through observations; indicators: None

area treated aspects were ad hoc monitored by 0 through observations; indicators: None

no. of land users involved aspects were ad hoc monitored by 0 through observations; indicators: None

There were no changes in the Approach as a result of monitoring and evaluation: None

4.5 Research

Was research part of the Approach?


Specify topics:
  • sociology
  • economics / marketing
Give further details and indicate who did the research:

market of soil analysis, social analysis of adopters/innovators/non-adopters

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

Comments (e.g. main sources of funding/ major donors):

Approach costs were met by the following donors: other (farmer himself): 100.0%

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)

  • none

5.4 Credit

Was credit provided under the Approach for SLM activities?


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

Few farmers reduced the number of tillage passages to prevent erosion of newly added soil. Untill now only production is affected, but management of soil is still unchanged in most cases.

Did the Approach improve issues of land tenure/ user rights that hindered implementation of SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The problem is unlikely to be overcome in the near future. Forest land is supposed to stay forest land

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

After being developed in Idleb, farmers adopted the practice in Afrin. The number of farmers adopting the strategy increased exponentially.

6.3 Sustainability of Approach activities

Can the land users sustain what has been implemented through the Approach (without external support)?
  • uncertain
If no or uncertain, specify and comment:

They can continue the actual practice without support but if the practice needs to be combined with conservation strategies (on the slopes), farmers need support to overcome this investment.

6.4 Strengths/ advantages of the Approach

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Results from soil samples can prove the benefit of the practice they 'invented' and give recomendations to improve it.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
While observation/analyis has been done the discussion about sustainability is opened
Farmers are considered the experts about this technology which might enhance future cooperation
Results from soil samples can prove the benefit of the strategy the farmers developed.

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

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
spreading of the practice by the land users did not focus on the sustainability and larger scale Adaptations should be made and institutions should i ntervene to make this practice sustainable.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys
  • interviews with land users

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Soil transfers in olive orchards of NS Syria, a bio-physical and socio-economic analysisi of a local innovation

Available from where? Costs?

ICD, Bern

Links and modules

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