Shade increases crop yields
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CTA. 1993. Shade increases crop yields. Spore 44. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49104
Planting crops under trees in the hot, dry Sahelian zone of Western Africa increases their yields and, because of the micro-climate under the trees, widens the farmer's choice of crop to be planted. Researchers at the International Crops Research...
Planting crops under trees in the hot, dry Sahelian zone of Western Africa increases their yields and, because of the micro-climate under the trees, widens the farmer's choice of crop to be planted. Researchers at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) Sahelian centre in Niger have therefore been looking at the relationship between trees and food crops. It is already known that pearl millet yields increase when the crop is planted close to Acacia albida trees. Research is now showing that the favourable micro-climate under the acacia trees is suitable for other, higher yielding crops like maize and sorghum. Maize crops grown under the trees yielded better than either sorghum or millet tint yields decreased dramatically at six metres or more away from the trees. Pearl millet yielded better than maize or sorghum when planted beyond the area influenced by the acacias. Whether it is the shade or the increased fertility under the trees which most benefits the crop is not yet known. The research indicates that farmers in these areas could get better returns from their land if they chose to plant higher yielding crops like maize under their trees, and planted their pear! millet further away from them. ICRISAT Sahelian Centre BP 12404 Niamey, NIGER