Alley-cropping in West Africa
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 1988. Alley-cropping in West Africa. Spore 18. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44975
The University of Hohenheim in West Germany has set up a regional research programme which will produce and improve agricultural production technologies targeted on small-scale farmers in West Africa. Work is now underway at various collaborating...
The University of Hohenheim in West Germany has set up a regional research programme which will produce and improve agricultural production technologies targeted on small-scale farmers in West Africa. Work is now underway at various collaborating centres, including ICRISAT'S's Sahelian Centre in Niger, at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture's headquarters in Nigeria and at the Institute's regional research station in Benin. Current projects are evaluating the physiological and agronomic bases of alleycropping systems in terms of stabilizing food crop yields. Particular attention is being paid to methods of stabilizing yields of cassava and maize under conditions where crop rotations and fallow periods can no longer be operated. Work has concentrated on two improved varieties, cassava TMS30572 and maize TZESRW. Alley cropping generally helps to conserve soil moisture, reduce water stress, and improve soil fertility by returning minerals and organic matter to the soil. Competition from weeds also tends to be reduced. Intercropping trials with Leucaena lecuocephala and Cajanas cajan (pigeon pea), both leguminous, soil-enriching plants, have produced mixed results. On the poor, acidic, red oxisols of the field trials site, leucaena showed poor initial growth and rapid signs of nutrient deficiency, whereas, under the same conditions, pigeon pea exhibited healthy growth and a rapid build-up of dry matter. Both intercropping regimes resulted in increased yields, and it is hoped to extend the trials to different ecological zones using different farming systems. For more details, contact: University of Hohenheim Schloss Box 700567 7000 Stuttgart 70 GERMANY