Mitigating soil erosion through farm-level adoption of soil and water conservation measures in Samanalawewa Watershed, Sri Lanka

Soil erosion by water is currently one of the most notable types of land degradation in Samanalawewa Watershed in Sri Lanka, creating copious environmental and socioeconomic impacts. Thus, with the aim of detecting and mapping the rates of human-induced soil erosion in the watershed, remote sensing and geographic information system based modelling and field experiments were carried out. The results of the assessment disclosed that the present rate of human-induced soil erosion varies from 0 to 289 t ha−1 yr−1 with the majority of the area exceeding the natural rate of soil erosion by 14 to 33 times at present. However, the average rate of human-induced soil erosion has declined dramatically from 19.8 to 4.3 t ha−1 yr−1 from 1986 to 2008. In order to analyse the significant determinants of farm-level adoption of soil and water conservation measures, binary logistic regression procedure was applied using the data collected through a household survey (n = 201). The most significant (p<0.01) variables of the study were the farmers’ perceptions of soil erosion problems, gender of the household head, training on soil and water conservation, and ascertained advice from agricultural extension officers while the variables regarding past awareness about soil conservation technologies and off-farm income were significant at p<0.05. Furthermore, the study revealed that the majority (60.2%) of the farmers in the study area had been adopting different types of soil and water conservation measures for a prolonged period of time. Therefore, owing to the current decreasing rate of soil erosion, the soil and water conservation costs and the ratios of human-induced soil erosion vs natural soil erosion had declined significantly while the productivity of their lands had gone up.
Authors: Seak, S.; Schmidt-Vogt, D.; Thapa, G B.
Subjects: soil conservation, ecological restoration, mitigation, soil erosion
Publication type: ISI, Journal Article, Publication
Year: 2011
ISSN: 0906-4710

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