Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT) optimizes land use to grow not just food crops but horticultural produce and forests as well. It thus enhances income levels as well as food and fodder availability within the community. More than 1000 persons have participated in the SALT-related training events and demonstrations organized by AFPRO during the year of reporting.
10 villages in the Aravalli hills, a semi-arid zone in southern Rajasthan, have been selected for a project to implement SALT in partnership with 4 local NGOs. In all, 415 farmers with 200 hectares of land are part of the initiative. Disseminating the uses of the practice was a main concern in the first year of operation. The area being one of limited water availability, SALT involves many water-saving techniques such as liquid manure with dung and urine, and using plant waste through mulching. Agro-forestry groups have been formed among the villagers, which has promoted their interest in the workings of SALT. As part of the agro-forestry groups, the women of the villages are getting an opportunity to come out of their cloistered roles and take on questions of land productivity along with their men folk.
The villagers who have adopted SALT techniques demonstrate a combination of appropriate technology and management techniques, the cornerstone of conservation.