Different pastrol systems

Different pastrol systems

  • Theses are Practiced in Kotido, Moroto, Rakai, Mbarara by the Bahima, Banyankole and Karimajong.
  • Farmers live a nomadic way of life.
  • Large number of animals are kept.
  • Drought resistant crops e.g. sorghum, millet are grown.
  • Overgrazing and bush burning are common.

Traditional farming system

These include the following;

  • Shifting cultivation
  • Bush fallowing
  • Crop rotation
  • Ley farming
  • Pastoralism
  • Intercropping
  • Agro forestry
  • Bush fallowing;- is a system of growing crops on a piece of land until the soil is exhausted and crop yields decline after which the land is rested in bush form to regain fertility while cultivation continues on alternative pieces.
  • Arable farming;- this is the growing of short term crops on arable land (cultivable land)

A well planned crop rotation programme should be followed to mantain the productivity of the arable land.

Ley farming; – is a system of alternating temporarily planted pasture with crop production.

Advantages of ley farming;

  • Rested land is fertilized by humus from the grass dug into the soil.
  • Land is utilized all the time instead of leaving it to rest.
  • Infertile areas are fertilized by dung and urine.
  • The planted grasses reduce on soil erosion.
  • Helps to break pests and diseases life cycle.
  • Leys provide cheap feeds for livestock


  • Requires fencing and paddocking which increases costs.
  • Requires water points in each paddock.
  • More labour is required in management and establishment of pastures.

Shifting cultivation;

is a farming system where a farmer clears a piece of land and grows crops in it for a number of seasons until the soil is exhausted and crop yields decline; he then moves / shifts to a fresh land.

Characteristics of shifting cultivation

  • It is subsistence oriented.
  • Family members are the major source of labour
  • Simple tools e.g. hand hoes, Pangas are used.
  • Settlement by farmers is not permanent.
  • Farming plots / fields are usually small.
  • Food crops are mainly grown.
  • Mainly practiced in sparsely populated areas.
  • Quick maturing crops are grown and no perennial crops are grown.
  • Forests are usually cleared by fire.


  • Fire destroys pests and disease causing organisms.
  • Constant movement by farmers ensures fresh soils thus ensuring high crop yields.
  • Easy and cheap to carry out.
  • There is enough time given to the land to regain its fertility.
  • Burning also controls weeds.
  • Enables other activities e.g. hunting to go on well
  • Communal ownership of land does not allow land disputes.
  • Plant nutrients e.g. potash are released quickly from the ash.


  • Regular movement hinders land development.
  • Burning of vegetation always destroys organic matter and useful living organisms.
  • The system requires a lot of land and is not suitable for densely populated areas.
  • A lot of timber will be destroyed due to destruction of trees by fire.
  • Carbon, Sulphur and Nitrogen are lost by volatilization.
  • Soil erosion and desertification may result.
  • No soil conservation because people own the land communally and therefore, they do not care.

Conditions that favor shifting cultivation;

  • Abundance of land
  • Sparse population.
  • Few crops grown for domestic use only.
  • Communal ownership of land.
  • When there is lack of modern farming techniques and facilities to improve the exhausted land.
  • Pastoralism and Nomadism; Pastoralism is the keeping of herds of cattle, sheep and goats on practices (graze at random) OR

Pastoralism is a system of farming where the farmers look after livestock as their main occupation.