The Rehabilitation of Degraded Agricultural Land Project (RDALP) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations introduced the conversion of unsustainable annual crops cultivated lands to perennial crops.
This new Sustainable Land Management (SLM) approach is introduced to the annual crop farms in unsuitable steep slope terrains in Welimada in the Badulla district.
In this approach RDALP works with the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority and Provincial Department of Agriculture – Uva. The objective of the approach is to stop severe soil erosion and other forms of land degradations.
The approach is one of the land degradation neutrality targets of Sri Lanka in the national action programme 2015-2024 of the United Nations Conventions for Combating Desertification (UNCCD).
The rationale behind this approach is;
Shifting to perennial crops will stop frequent land preparations for annual crops
Introduce tea cultivation with proper conservation methods
Reduce agrochemical usage
Prevent damages by stray cattle and bushfire in the fallow period
Ensure higher income to farmers throughout the year
Pictures show a farmer training program conducted in Welimada and a potato cultivated land successfully converted to tea cultivation.