Fallowing [Uganda]


technologies_1169 - Uganda

Completeness: 76%

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:

Twongyeirwe Jovanice

MAAIF- Kabale district


SLM specialist:

Mazimakwo Kukundakwe

MAAIF- Kabale District


SLM specialist:
Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (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 Technology (if relevant)
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO Food and Agriculture Organization) - Italy
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Ministry of agriculture, animal industry and fisheries (MAAIF) - Uganda

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:


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Fallowing in the cultivated land that is left unseeded for one or more growing seasons , to regain fertility for crops and its on a hill slope.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Fallowing is a practice of leaving land unseeded for a long time so that the soil regains its fertility which will enable the growing of crops. It also consists of a series of ploughings and its continued until the land is cleaned ,which favors crops to be cultivated. And primary cultivation involves breaking top layer then the second phase is to clean up the garden for crops to be cultivated. Fallowing is basically practiced to improve on soil fertility so that productivity is high.

Purpose of the Technology: The technology helps the soil to increase nutrients which will later be beneficial to crops.
Its used to increase on its productivity and this implies that the income will positively change .
Also for fertility purposes which will allow good growth of crops.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: Inputs: hoes, pangas, forked hoes and a spade for collecting soil from trenches around the fallowed place. These trenches help to trap water for future use in the garden.
Establishment: The nature of the soil to be fallowed first ploughing is in dry season. This is done around April.
Maintenance: This is maintained by forming weeds into compost for manure.
The vegetation is checked until the process of ploughing is done on the cultivated land and is repeated after harvest , then fallow is practiced depending on crops to be planted in the next season. Through efficient weeding during their growth is maintained.

Natural / human environment: Natural environment: the area is on a hill slope toward foot slope of hills and experiences annual rainfall of about 1000-1500mm.Its soil texture is loam/medium and shallow, this implies that soil drainage infiltration is good and water storage is high which indicates that soil fertility is good.
Human environment: land ownership is individual , but the land user does not have a land tittle, water use rights is communal and organized though people do not follow rules. Production is based on subsistence and surplus is for commercial.

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



Region/ State/ Province:


Further specification of location:


Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If precise area is not known, indicate approximate area covered:
  • 0.1-1 km2

The area estimations prepared with support of the land user.

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.):

This technology was introduced by Africa 2000 Netowrk ( with aim to improve/introduce sustainable land management technologies in the region

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation

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



  • Annual cropping
  • Perennial (non-woody) cropping
Annual cropping - Specify crops:
  • legumes and pulses - beans
  • root/tuber crops - potatoes
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 2

Longest growing period from month to month: February to June Second longest growing period from month to month: August to November.


Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): Soil fertility decline caused by erosion

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): Soil erosion caused by poor land management

Type of cropping system and major crops comments: Crops are mainly for eating and they sell the surplus.

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

  • rotational systems (crop rotation, fallows, shifting cultivation)

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A1: Vegetation/ soil cover
management measures

management measures

  • M1: Change of land use type

Main measures: management measures

Type of agronomic measures: rotations / fallows

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
  • Wg: gully erosion/ gullying

Main type of degradation addressed: Wt: loss of topsoil / surface erosion

Secondary types of degradation addressed: Wg: gully erosion / gullying

Main causes of degradation: soil management (inapropriate land management techniques), crop management (annual, perennial, tree/shrub), change of seasonal rainfall, land tenure (their plots are not tittled)

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • prevent land degradation
  • reduce land degradation

Main goals: mitigation / reduction of land degradation

Secondary goals: prevention of land degradation

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

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: moderate (National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) and Africa 2000 Network NGO provide technical support)

Technical knowledge required for land users: moderate (implemented the technology)

Main technical functions: control of concentrated runoff: retain / trap, increase in organic matter, increase / maintain water stored in soil

Rotations / fallows
Material/ species: hand hoes, forked hoes, mattock.

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

other/ national currency (specify):


If relevant, indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (e.g. 1 USD = 79.9 Brazilian Real): 1 USD =:


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:


4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Purchase tools (Hoes, forks, panga)

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
Equipment Panga Piece 1.0 1.5 1.5 100.0
Equipment Hoes Piece 1.0 8.7 8.7 100.0
Equipment Forks Pice 1.0 8.4 8.4 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 18.6
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 0.01

Lifespan of the tools is two years

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Putting of manure between dry to wet season
2. Weeding wet 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 Labour ha 1.0 5.7 5.7 100.0
Equipment Tools ha 1.0 7.9 7.9 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 13.6
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 0.01

Machinery/ tools: hand hoes, pangas, and forked hoes.

The calculation is current for 2011.

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Soil depth is hard to reach because of stony soils.

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
Specify average annual rainfall (if known), in mm:


Agro-climatic zone
  • humid

Thermal climate class: tropics. All months above 18°C

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:
  • concave situations
Comments and further specifications on topography:

Altitudinal zone: 1501-2000 m a.s.l. (1869m.a.s.l.)

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):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Soil depth on average: Shallow (This enables the growth of crops)
Soil texture: Medium (Mixed with stones favorable for crop growing)
Soil fertility: Medium (Keeps soil fertile and increase in productivity is seen)
Topsoil organic matter: Medium (Plants grow very well)
Soil drainage/infiltration: Good (Retention of water for a long time)
Soil water storage capacity: High (Storage of drainage water is good)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

> 50 m

Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

Comments and further specifications on water quality and quantity:

Water quality (untreated): Good drinking water (Spring water which is good for drinking)

5.5 Biodiversity

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

no species.

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial)
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • poor
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • women
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Difference in the involvement of women and men: women mainly do the cultivation.
Population density: 50-100 persons/km2
Annual population growth: 3% - 4%
2% of the land users are very rich (Income outside their farms.).
20% of the land users are rich and own 26% of the land (few from farm & others off farm.).
60% of the land users are average wealthy and own 49% of the land (a living is got from framing.).
10% of the land users are poor and own 21% of the land (few basic needs are affordable.).
8% of the land users are poor and own 10% of the land (its hard to meet basic needs.).
Off-farm income specification: The land is small therefore money got is from outside the farm.
Level of mechanization: Manual work (Use of hoes, pangas, forked hoes.etc.)
Market orientation of production system: Mixed (products are both commercial and subsistence)

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

Small plots and scattered.

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

Land ownership:
  • individual, not titled
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • communal (organized)

Land is individually owned while water is communal and organized with rules governing the springs.

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


crop production

Comments/ specify:

Increased yields.

Income and costs

farm income

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:


Comments/ specify:

increased productivity.

Socio-cultural impacts

health situation

Comments/ specify:

due to increased productivity & sales.

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

Comments/ specify:

fallowing reduced soil erosion thru trench/grass strips

Improved livelihoods and human well-being

Comments/ specify:

There is increased production when you compare the past and the present.

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

harvesting/ collection of water

Comments/ specify:

harvest improved, water run off reduced.

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 temperature increase not well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm not well
local windstorm not well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought not well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood not well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

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

neutral/ balanced

Long-term returns:

slightly positive

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):


Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 51-90%

50% of land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

50 land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

Comments on acceptance with external material support: Seedlings were given to farmers and advice on how to space crops among others.

50% of land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support

50 land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support

Comments on spontaneous adoption: It was voluntarily adopted.

There is a moderate trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

Comments on adoption trend: most of the land users have acquired the technology.

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
There is a reduction in soil erosion.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Construction of trenches in their gardens which reduces heavy rain water.
Increasing fertility rates.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Supplementing crops with manure which is composited.
Increased production is realized.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Technology should be improved through spraying.
Improved harvests when comparing before the technology and after.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Peoples way of living has changed due to increased income.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Continuous practicing of new technologies and SLM methods.

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?
Conflicts among neighbours arising from domestic animals grazing on the gardens. Need for harmony, good neighborliness and discipline towards peoples' property.
Pests like rats , insects and birds are greatly affecting crops Spraying is the best method to overcome pests.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Lack of fencing their gardens. By fencing.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Kagera TAMP website

Available from where? Costs?

Links and modules

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