Velvet beans help maize farmers
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CTA. 1989. Velvet beans help maize farmers. Spore 24. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45175
Farmers in small villages on the north coast of Honduras are using velvet bean in association with their maize crops and obtaining good results m terms of yield increases, protection of soils from erosion and reduction of weeding. The velvet bean...
Farmers in small villages on the north coast of Honduras are using velvet bean in association with their maize crops and obtaining good results m terms of yield increases, protection of soils from erosion and reduction of weeding. The velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) is planted one-two months after planting the maize, at the beginning of January. When the maize is harvested, the stalks are bent over and left on the field. Velvet bean starts covering these stalks, and soon this legume takes over the whole field. By December the large amounts of velvet bean foliage begin to dry out and eventually drop off, providing a cover of up to 20cm thick. The next maize crop is planted directly through this mulch, which suppresses weeds and the following year verve bean seeds grow up naturally and the cycle continues when the maize is planted again. Using this method, farmer obtain maize yields of 2700 3250kg/ha, which is more than double the national average using chemical fertilizer. Because farmers have found a cheap ant effective way to make their land more productive, migratory agriculture and its damaging practice of burning are slowly disappearing. The velvet bean coverage also protects fragile hillsides from being washed away during the rainy months Flores B. Milton - CICICCO (International Cover Crop Clearinghouse) - Apdo 3385 Teguicigalpa - HONDURAS
SubjectsCROP PRODUCTION AND PROTECTION;
- CTA Spore (English)