Alley cropping with Sesbania
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CTA. 1987. Alley cropping with Sesbania. Spore 12. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44758
In order to reduce the destruction of indigenous forest, ways have to be devised to grow more crops on the same land without resorting to expensive fertilizers or technology. One such way is alley cropping; planting leguminous trees in between...
In order to reduce the destruction of indigenous forest, ways have to be devised to grow more crops on the same land without resorting to expensive fertilizers or technology. One such way is alley cropping; planting leguminous trees in between other crops. According to a recent letter from a plantation manager in Western Samoa, the fast-growing Sesbania grandiflora is one such species with many promising merits in this regard. It can be grown in situ at the beginning of the wet season or in a nursery bed and transplanted when 50 cm high, it yields large quantities of leaves for mulch or forage, its upright shape adapts well to interplanting, it does not sprout from stumps cut back to 15 cm, its flowers and young pods can be used as a cooked vegetable or fodder, it can be grown on wet sites and is also drought resistant, and it produces reasonably good firewood. Apart from the above benefits, it also produces nitrogen, gives wind protection, reduces erosion and recycles nutrients from the subsoil. Furthermore, Sesbania grandiflora does not compete with interplanted crops and produces only one toxin, saponin. On the plantation in question, it is being grown with taro, Colocasia esculentum, in rows 3 m apart. According to this local observer, it certainly warrants further research attention. For more details, contact: A.C. Peters Lata Plantation Development P.O. Box 1220 Apia Western Samoa