Alternatives: Water harvesting.

CEPES. Alternatives: Water harvesting. Published in: The Agrarian Journal 124, Water and Irrigation, November 2010, Peru

Jicamarca community in San Marcos at the Cajamarca region is composed of 65 families of farmers, has doubled in recent years production of yellow potatoes. Before harvesting was 9 000 kg / ha, now, after the installation of micro reservoirs and applying the practice of water harvesting, obtained 18 000 kg / ha, for their own consumption and local markets. Floríndez Antenor, director of  Watershed Institute, says that this is an example of how proper irrigation only without the addition of other elements, such as compost or training has made it possible to increase crop production. The goal now is to have greater water availability for Cajamarca and the entire Highland. How? Floríndez proposed water harvesting, getting collect and store water from rainfall, using the ground as a means of capture and storage.

At the extent that the soil is more porous and has a greater amount of organic matter it can absorb the water, which then leads to the springs that arise in the lower parts of the mountain. Hence the need for the mountain area is covered with vegetation. How much water can be collected from the rain? In Cajamarca, for example, rainfall is about 700 mm per year, which means that for every square meter of land or any surface can be collected, theoretically, 700 liters per year. One of the ways of water harvesting has been widely accepted in Cajamarca irrigation systems are regulated by micro farm reservoirs. Water is captured by the forest cover in the mountains, and through micro channels leads to reservoir which is administered by each family to avoid conflict over resource use. There are micro reservoirs of different capacities, from the cubic meters of water. Pablo Sanchez who is ASPADERUC president says also advocate for water harvesting, it is necessary to increase water availability in the mountains and practice intensive farming only where are available good soil, climate, water and access. “We need to change focus: intensive agriculture is more to the coast. In the mountains, soils are poor and tend to erode. ”

Publisher by: Peru Centre of Social Studies- CEPES, Lima, Peru.

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