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Through generous support from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, ECHO completed a five-year (2010-2015) research project in Limpopo Province of South Africa. The central question addressed was “How can smallscale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa continue to produce food with limited resources for improving depleted soils?” Emphasis was placed on evaluating how best to utilize tropical legumes for sustained cropping of dry, sandy soils. Drawing from lessons learned over five growing seasons of field trials, Tim Motis will discuss 1) the benefits of tropical legumes and their contribution to soil ecology, 2) factors to consider in selecting a legume for your area, 3) options for inter-cropping legumes with grain crops and moringa, and 4) low-cost soil amendments to enhance farmer success with the use of tropical legumes.

Presenter: Tim Motis grew up in Liberia and worked in Ethiopia for two years before earning his PhD in horticulture at the University of Florida. He has been on staff with ECHO since 2003. Currently, he oversees ECHO’s Agriculture Technical and Research Division. His team produces informational resources relevant to small-scale farmers, responds to agriculture development related inquiries, maintains a library collection of resources pertaining to tropical agriculture, and conducts research. From 2010-2015, Tim led a research program in South Africa focused on maintaining soils with tropical legumes. Other research activities include field experiments on ECHO’s Global Demonstration Farm in Florida and collaborative efforts with ECHO Regional Impact Centers.

 

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