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CTA. 1994. Sustainable smallholdings. Spore 52. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49429
Sustaining growth by Karl M\FCller-S\E4mann and Johannes Kotschi 1994 486pp ISBN 3 8236 1226 3 Published co-published with Magraf Verlag Hohenloher Str. 2, 97990 Weikersheim GERMANY
For several decades efforts have been made to intensify agriculture in the tropics using 'modern' methods of agricultural production. Innovations that led to large production increases in the industrial countries were expected to have similar results in the developing world. It was hoped that by breeding and disseminating high-yielding crop varieties, and applying mineral fertilizers and chemical plant protection, the rapid gains in yields needed to keep pace with population increases could be achieved. While there was undoubtedly some notable success, as in the case of wheat cultivation in northern India, the majority of subsistence-oriented smallholdings, particularly in marginal areas, remained unaffected. This was particularly the case in Africa, where difficult environmental conditions and the inability of farmers to invest in inputs made the new technology quite unsuitable. The assumption that agricultural practices from industrial countries could be transferred to developing countries turned out to be false. And even in areas where the 'Green Revolution' was a success, there were subsequent problems of increased susceptibility to pests and diseases and greater vulnerability to soil erosion and loss of soil fertility. For the most part, conditions found on mos tropical smallholdings are the opposite of those on farms in the industrialized countries. Tropical smallholdigs are characterized by high production risks and limited purchasing power for external inputs. These conditions favor diversification and the integration of different enterprises. Sustaining growth - soil fertility management in tropical smallholdigs look at a range of practices which lead to sustainable agriculture and are of particular importance for the development of smallholdigs in the tropics. These measure include agroforestry, intensive following an green manuring and the use of mulct compost and manure. The aim of all tines practices is the maintenance of soil fertility using a minimum of external inputs. Much ancient knowledge related to these practices has been forgotten over years an needs to be re-examined in the light of recent research findings. CTA provided financial support for the publication of Sustaining growth by Karl M\FCller-S\E4mann and Johannes Kotschi 1994 486pp ISBN 3 8236 1226 3 Published co-published with Magraf Verlag Hohenloher Str. 2, 97990 Weikersheim GERMANY