Agricultural Studies, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Dec  2017, Pages 28-40; DOI: 10.31058/j.as.2017.11004 10.31058/j.as.2017.11004

Introduction of Quesungual Slash and Mulch Agro-forestry System (QSMAS) for Enhancing Crop Yields and Soil Quality in Chittagong Hill Tracts

Agricultural Studies, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Dec  2017, Pages 28-40.

DOI: 10.31058/j.as.2017.11004

Hossain, M.A. 1* , Hossain, M.F. 2 , Islam, M.M. 2

1 Principal Scientific Officer, Soil Resource Development Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Krishi Khamar Sarak, Dhaka, Bangladesh

2 Scientific Officer, Soil Resource Development Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Krishi Khamar Sarak, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Received: 20 December 2017; Accepted: 2 January 2018; Published: 15 January 2018

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Abstract

The Chittagong Hill Tracts region is of great importance for growing various crops, which are different from the plains. Farmers practice traditional Jhum culture for their livelihood. They slash and burn the vegetation on hills and go for Jhum cultivation which contributes to soil and nutrient loss. It can also lead to land degradation if population pressure reduces the fallow periods needed for the recovery of natural resources. The Quesungual Slash and Mulch Agro-forestry System (QSMAS) is a smallholder production system with a group of techniques for the sustainable management of vegetation, soil, and water resources in drought-prone hillsides is an alternative to traditional and widespread slash and burn agriculture. The present research work was undertaken to introduce an eco-friendly productive crop production system in sloping lands of CHT which will mitigate the process of land degradation due to Jhum culture as well as take care of food security of Hill people. The experiment was conducted in moderate hill slope of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management Center, SRDI, Bandarban. Experimental site comprised of four plots- QSMAS model, modern Jhum with hedge row, traditional Jhum and control (secondary forest). From two years data it was observed that system productivity of QSMAS was much higher than that of Jhum with hedge row and traditional Jhum. Total soil loss and surface run off was much lower in QSMAS model than Jhum with hedge row and traditional Jhum. Soil organic matter and CEC was increased over initial status in QSMAS and secondary forest. Micro-watershed based agro-forestry system may be an alternate option to replace Jhum culture for livelihood security of Hill dwellers in Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Keywords

Jhum; Slash and Mulch, Agro-forestry

Copyright

© 2017 by the authors. Licensee International Technology and Science Press Limited. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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