Mombasa Grass - A Grassroots Approach to Sustainable Agriculture and Livelihoods

Tags: aggriculture, grass, regenerative, regen, syntropic


Mombasa grass is a versatile and resilient plant native to East Africa that offers numerous benefits for farmers, livestock, and the environment. The team at Grassroots Economics Foundation recognizes the potential of this remarkable grass and supports its cultivation through innovative initiatives, such as Community Inclusion Currencies (CICs). By promoting traditional labor rotations for planting Mombasa grass, we are supporting sustainable agriculture and community development in the region.

Harnessing the Power of Mombasa Grass: Mombasa grass is a tall, hardy plant that can grow up to 2 meters in height and thrive in harsh conditions like drought and low fertile soils. It can be harvested multiple times per year, providing a reliable and sustainable source of feed, mulch, and fodder. With its high yield and excellent forage quality, Mombasa grass is ideal for livestock farming, increasing produce by 15 to 40 percent. Moreover, its easier digestibility results in lower methane production, reducing the environmental impacts of livestock farming.

Environmental Benefits: Mombasa grass also plays a crucial role in erosion control and soil building. When planted in swales and ditches along hillsides, it prevents soil erosion and creates water-catchment areas, helping to combat desertification. Additionally, the grass acts as a soil-building mulch, providing a constant layer of organic matter that keeps the soil cool, moist, and full of life while preventing the growth of weeds.

Planting Mombasa Grass: To plant Mombasa grass directly, follow these steps:

  1. Choose healthy, mature plants.
  2. Prepare the planting site by clearing debris, loosening soil, and adding compost if needed.
  3. Dig up grass clumps, preserving roots.
  4. Divide clumps into sections with shoots and roots (cut to 6 inches tall).
  5. Plant divisions 3-6 feet apart, covering the root with soil (1-2 inches).
  6. Water thoroughly and regularly until established. (or plant during rains)

Integrating Mombasa Grass into Agriculture: Mombasa grass can be used as an effective weed control measure when planted between vegetables. This not only keeps out weeds but also prevents soils from drying out, leading to healthier and more productive crops.

Grassroots Economics Foundation is dedicated to promoting sustainable agriculture and community development through initiatives like Community Inclusion Currencies (CICs). By using CICs to develop traditional labor rotations for planting Mombasa grass, we empowers communities to create a sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and productive agricultural system. Planting grass as a mutual service among neighbors for animal feed, erosion control and mulching is a simple way to bootstrap a local economy.

Mombasa grass offers immense potential for sustainable agriculture, livestock farming, and environmental conservation. By incorporating it into traditional farming practices and leveraging the support of traditional practices like rotational labor and mutual credit communities can reap the benefits of this incredible plant and pave the way for a brighter, greener future.

  1. Here are some syntropic farm schedules and information about Mombasa Grass that you can download in English and Kiswahili.
  2. Check out more about our work on Food Forests