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1 Jan 2020 | NEPCAT approaches

Sharing labour to implement contour bunding

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Members of a community can work together to help prevent soil erosion and increase productivity by working collectively to establish contour bunds.

Over generations, the ethnic minorities of Nepal, who practice fireless shifting cultivation, known as ‘gujultyaune’, have successfully used contour bunding to control soil erosion, promote water retention, and increase crop production. Contour bunding is a proven sustainable land management practice in areas where the soil productivity of marginal, sloping, and hilly lands is very low. While it is both low cost and simple to implement, it does have the drawback that establishing contour bunds is very labour intensive. When members of a community work together to establish contour bunds the whole village can benefit.

Tanahun and Gorkha Districts, Nepal


WOCAT database reference: QA NEP 26

Location: Tanahun and Gorkha Districts, Nepal

Approach area: Approximately 1–10 km2

Land use: Agroforestry

Type of approach: This traditional approach has been implemented for more than 50 years.

Focus: Mainly on conservation with other activities

Related technology: Contour bunding QT NEP 26

Stakeholders/target groups: Land users, groups

Compiled by: BB Tamang, LI-BIRD

Date: March 2010, updated March 2013

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