Bunds have many benefits, including marking the boundaries of farm-holdings, slowing the movement of soil and water, and providing a place for integrating trees into agricultural systems. Here are some tips for using bunds within farmland:
- Cattle should be kept away from the area while establishing saplings, by using livehedge fencing. Cactus, Euphorbia spp, and Agave are useful for a livehedge fence.
- Larger trees can be planted on boundary bunds, and smaller trees which will be harvested more frequently can be planted on internal bunds, which divide one holding into separate sections.
- Internal bunds can be spaced every 20 to 30 meters apart to promote soil and water conservation. These bunds should follow the contours of the landscape.
- Trees on internal bunds can be pruned to a height of 5 feet to avoid shading crops, and the harvested biomass can be introduced to the soil to increase organic content.
- A ½ foot trench should be maintained ½ meter from the trees on the bunds to encourage the roots to grow downwards, rather than into the fields.
- Fodder grasses, such as Stylo hamata can also be planted on the bunds to increase stability, and provide fodder for harvesting.
- In sloping lands experiencing heavy rainfall, bunds should not follow the exact contour, but should be slightly sloping to allow for drainage along the bunds.
- Grass species for bunds include: vetiver grass, Sachcharum munja, and Stylo hammata
Trees for boundary bund
Trees that can be considered for boundary bunds are:
- Eucalyptus spp (Niligiri)
- Tectona grandis (Teak)
- Thespesia populnea (Huvarsi);Albezia lebbek (Bage)
- Leucaena leucocephala (Subabul)
- Annona squamosa (Seetaphal)
Trees for internal bunds
Trees that can be promoted on the internal bunds are:
- Glyricidia sepium
- Leucaena leucocephala
- Cassia siamea (Seme thangadi)
- Sesbania sesban (Chogache)
- Erythrina indica (Halvana)
- Moringa petrigosperma (Nugge)
- Pongamia pinnata (Honge)
Horticultural species to be planted in the field
In addition to planting vegetation on the bunds, horticultural species should be planted in the field itself. Some of the horticultural species that can be considered are:
- Mango, 30 to 50 plants per hectare
- Tamarind (grafted), 10 to 20 per hectare
- Papaya, 20 per hectare
- Pomegranate, 10 to 15 per hectare
- Curry leaves