In the 1980s and 1990s, green manure/cover crop (GMCC) systems
became a popular agricultural technology in research and
development efforts for smallholder tropical and subtropical
farmers. However, few syntheses of these experiences have been
conducted. This volume of case studies contributes to bridging this
gap by reviewing field-level experiences with these systems.
Twelve case studies are included. Eleven of them describe
experiences from Latin America (4 cases), Africa (6 cases) and Asia
(1 case) and the twelfth case reports on the development of a GMCC
systems database. Two concluding chapters, Learning from the Case
Studies' and Future Perspectives', build upon the cases.
The systems described are diverse. Some systems have been
spontaneously adopted by farmers, while others have been introduced
to the farmers through diffusion efforts. Some of the cases
reviewed describe small, localized efforts while others report on
large-scale, well-known ones, such as the combination of GMCCs and
conservation tillage in Santa Catarina, Brazil, the maize-Mucuna
system in northern Honduras, and the improved fallow systems in
Eastern Zambia. Most experiences include both development and
research aspects and to the extent possible the cases integrate
these two. Discussion of the strengths and shortcomings of the
systems and efforts is frank, and the goal is to learn from these
experiences to benefit future efforts.
It is expected that both researchers and development
practitioners and students of tropical farming systems and soil
management will find this volume of case studies useful.A
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