Davao, Philippines - Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT ) proved to effectively reduced soil erosion over other systems. This was revealed through the conduct of a 8-year study (1997-2004) on different soil conservation measures at Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) in Kinuskusan, Bansalan, Davao del Sur, Philippines.
Results revealed that SALT and vetiver grass had effectively reduced the soil loss of about half ton/ha/yr and 1.5 tons/ha/yr, respectively. On comparison, there is a remarkable soil loss in rockwall (32.40 tons/ha/year) when compared to other treatments. Terrace and natural barrier had lesser erosion rates of 5.13 and 6.22 tons/ha/year, respectively.
A cement catchment were established at the lowest portion of the hillside. Eroded soil that were trapped in the cement catchment were collected and weighed after every significant rain.
The result suggests’ that the farmers can effectively use SALT and vetiver grass to prevent losing the precious top soil. The disadvantages seen using vetiver grass are: it consumes higher space requirement thus lesser area for productive crops and since its a grass, it competes with corn on nutrient uptake.
According to Warlito A. Laquihon and Harold Ray Watson, former Associate Director & Director of MBRLC respectively, "The price of soil loss is poverty, but we have seen land restored to a reasonable level of productivity by using SALT”
Let’s not wait and get the price of poverty. Instead, adopt SALT now and get the price of sustainable productivity. - jxysl