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Soil and water conservation in semi-arid areas

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Titre  : Soil and water conservation in semi-arid areas

Auteur (s) : Norman W. Hudson
Publisher  : Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome,
Date de parution : 1987
Pages : Document pdf

This Bulletin does not offer easy solutions to all the problems of soil and water conservation in semi-arid regions. There is no storehouse of tested methods and techniques ready to be taken off the shelf for immediate application. The conditions vary too much - the climate, the soil, and the social and economic factors. Instead, this Bulletin reviews methods and techniques which have been tested and found useful somewhere, and which might be suitable for use in other conditions. We have not attempted to define semi-arid areas, and some of the examples come from arid or sub-humid regions. The objective is to make the bulletin relevant anywhere that rainfall is a problem because of amount, distribution, or unreliability. We have omitted the questions of salinity and alkalinity, wind erosion, and mechanization. Neither is there a discussion of the political, social, and economic issues, although in many cases these are as important as the technical problems. The first three chapters are introductory, and outline the scale and importance of the problem, the difficulties and the possibilities for improvement. The bulletin argues strongly, and presents evidence, that drought is part of the natural order in semi-arid areas, and that the recent disasters of degradation and famine in Africa result from misuse and mis-management of the natural resources which reduced the region’s ability to cope with the additional stress of drought.

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