Problem: Climate change causes terrace farmers to be especially at risk: intensifying rain storms can cause soil erosion and nutrient leaching from terrace edges, while extended drought can cause soil crusting which leads to erosion upon the first heavy rains
•Unlike terraces that slope in the same direction as the hillside, we are promoting inverse sloping terraces to cause water and nutrients to move towards the base of the terrace wall to facilitate growing crops along the terrace walls (FTW), to reduce soil runoff, conserve water and prevent terrace failure if the water is properly channelled. Adoption rates of such soil conservation measures are typically low because they involve labour, but we are testing the concept that if there is an obvious income incentive (namely new crops to support at the base of terrace walls), adoption rates will substantially increase, which will have implications for terrace farmers worldwide.
•We are facilitating access to micronutrient fertilizers which are ignored by many organizations, including: boron which is required for effective utilization of nitrogen and to permit legume nodule formation; molybdenum which is a necessary co-factor for legumes to produce organic nitrogen; and zinc which is deficient in women and children, ultimately due to deficiencies in the soil. Micronutrient optimization can be expensive, so we are testing a nutrient biosensor called GlnLux invented at the University of Guelph to reduce these costs.
•We are using the SAK picture book of best practices to scale up these concepts which are easily translated to hillside farmers in Africa and Haiti.