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Cover Crops in Smallholder Agriculture : Lessons from Latin America - Simon Anderson

Cover Crops in Smallholder Agriculture

Lessons from Latin America

Paperback Published: 1st May 2001
ISBN: 9781853395307
Number Of Pages: 152

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Lessons learned in Latin America is about the use and dissemination of cover crops in different agreoecosystems need to be made more widely available not only to Spanish speaking, but also Anglophone regions. This publication aims to inform a wide range of actors involved in rural development projects, as well as those in applied research, about the potential of cover crops as components of low external input agricultural (LEIA) systems. Cover crops are, or have the potential to be, an important component in complex, diverse, risk-prone and resource-poor farming situations. The publication includes selected case studies from four different countries in Latin America. These address key issues regarding crop cover integration in LEIA systems. A wide range of agroecosystems are covered by the case studies, so that the information can be adapted for use in other regions. The key issues covered by the case studies are the following: Cover crops in annual cropping systems (Honduras); Cover crops in perennial crops (Bolivia); Role of cover crops in animal husbandry (Mexico); cover crop systems - soil improvement and conservation (Honduras); Alternatives to slash-and-burn (Mexico); Diffusion aspects of cover crop based systems; Applied research activities for agricultural systems improvement (Bolivia); and Action research with campesino farmers in South-east Mexico. However, the different aspects of cover crops cannot be treated separately from each other. The cross-cutting nature of the different aspects of cover crops becomes obvious from the case studies themselves, and the treatment highlights potential applications in other contexts.

Acknowledgementsp. vi
Prefacep. vii
List of acronymsp. xii
Introductionp. 1
Cover crops and low external input agriculture
Towards a definition
Functions and purposes of cover crops in agriculture
Cover crops within an 'envelope' of conditions
Cover crops in annual and perennial cropping systemsp. 9
Introduction
Cover crops in annual cropping systems
Perennial cropping systems
Weed, pest and disease control with cover crops
Pest and disease control
Conclusions
Food, feed and foragep. 41
Legumes as part of the human diet
Livestock within low external input agriculture
Evaluating cover crops as livestock feed
Conclusions
Cover crops as a component of sustainable land husbandryp. 58
Farmer, national and donor priorities
Soil and water conservation
'Above-ground' natural resource management
Maintaining crop diversity
Conclusions
Farmer experimentation and diffusion strategies for cover crop innovationsp. 79
The campesino-to-campesino approach
The Honduran Atlantic coast experience
Conclusions for the potential and limitations for cover crop adoption and diffusion
Research strategies for cover crop innovationsp. 93
Applied and Adaptive Research at the Centro de Investigacion Agricola Tropical (CIAT), Bolivia
Action--research with campesino farmers in south-east Mexico
Pulling the concepts togetherp. 108
Towards a holistic cover crop definition
Pulling it together: multiple stakeholders' perspectives related to specific farming systems and projects
Conclusions and future strategies
Papers available on case studies usedp. 121
List of workshop participantsp. 122
List and brief description of cover crop species mentionedp. 125
References and bibliographyp. 129
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781853395307
ISBN-10: 1853395307
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 152
Published: 1st May 2001
Publisher: ITDG Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.25