NGO Another Way (Stichting Bakens Verzet), 1018 AM
SELF-FINANCING, ECOLOGICAL, SUSTAINABLE, LOCAL INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS FOR THE WORLD’S POOR
FOR DIPLOMA IN
Edition 01 : 06 December, 2011.
Zaï pits for agriculture in marginal areas.
technology was recently developed in
The technology has just two “disadvantages” :
1) The labour requirements for digging zaï pits depend on soil types but is in any case high (about 300 man-hours/ha). Their maintenance is also labour-intensive. Pits dug in soils with a high clay fraction or
with a lot of gravel require less maintenance than pits dug in sandier soils.
2.) Mechanization is impossible. Pits are dug by hand and maintained by hand.
These two “disadvantages” are just what make them particularly suitable for integrated development projects.
Barren common (community-owned) land can be worked by unemployed and/or handicapped people under the local money systems set up in each project area.
Since zai pits harvest moisture, the plants in them can survive during longer dry spells than would normally be the case. They can be prepared during the dry season. This means they are ready for planting as soon as the first rains come. This can help extend the normal growing season. Fields with zai pits do not need to be ploughed.
The technique would also be used for afforestation and reforestation projects.
For details on zaï pits see Kaboré D, and Reij C., The Emergence and Spreading of an Improved Traditional Soil and Water Conservation Practice in Burkina Faso, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Environment and Production Technology Division, Discussion Paper 114, Washington, February 2004, and Essama S., Burkina Faso : the Zaï Technique and Enhanced Agricultural Productivity, Indigenous Knowledge (IK) Notes, No. 80, World Bank Africa, Washington, May 2005.
"Money is not the key that opens the gates of the market but the bolt that bars them."
Gesell, Silvio, The Natural Economic Order,
revised English edition, Peter Owen,
“Poverty is created scarcity”
point 8 of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, 58th annual
NGO Conference, United Nations,
"In the end, it's about love for mankind. Freedom begins with love.
Our challenge is to learn to love the world"
Nigerian writer Ben Okri, interview in Ode Magazine, Dec 2002-Jan 2003, p.49
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share-Alike 3.0 Licence.