Land clearing should never be embarked upon without a great deal of thought. The development of any new research farm will inevitably require some land clearing. However, land should not be cleared unless it is necessary. Areas which are not suitable for research fields, buildings or other installations should not be cleared. Such areas may have poor soils or exceptionally steep slopes. Leave these areas under their natural cover to protect the soil from erosion.
As larger areas of tropical land are cleared of their natural cover, a considerable number of plant and animal species are becoming extinct. It is therefore in mankind's best interest to leave intact any area of forest or bush which does not have to be cleared in order to conserve what species remain.
Clear only land that is required for immediate use. Clearing of agricultural blocks on a farm should be carried out only when the land is needed.
The seasons in tropical areas are generally divided into wet and dry periods. Land should never be cleared mechanically during the wet seasons as the damage to soil structure caused by heavy machinery is considerable. Relatively little damage occurs to the soil structure when soil is dry, therefore it is preferable to carry out all land clearing activities during the dry seasons.
During the clearing process of forest or bush, a considerable amount of biomass accumulates and the most convenient method of disposal is burning. This can take place effectively during the dry season only.
|Objectives, Study materials, Practicals|
|1||What and when to clear|
|2||How to clear|
|3||Effects of land clearing|
|5||Suggestions for trainers|