Vegetable Gardens in Kiffa

Bottle-cap Fertilizer

Pick Those Podborers

Alley Cropping Revisited

Book Review: Producing Food Without Pesticides

Book Review: Sustainable Food Production

A Lesson in Agroforestry


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Bottle-cap Fertilizer

Dawn Berkelaar

We read an article in Appropriate Technology (Volume 28, No. 3; July/September 2001) about farmers in Niger who used bottle caps to distribute tiny amounts of fertilizer. Despite drought conditions, farmers who used this technique harvested 50 to 100 percent more millet than those who did not.

Pick Those Podborers

Dawn Berkelaar

Pigeon pea plants are shaken gently so that the pod borer larvae fall off. As the larvae fall, they are collected on a sheet that is pulled along the ground between the rows of plants. A few hens follow and eat the protein-rich larvae.

Vegetable Gardens in Kiffa

Stan Doerr

Training in tire gardening was done with women in Mauritania. After the training, each woman was given several small packets of seeds and encouraged to start a garden.

When we arrived in Kiffa, the only vegetable gardens that could be found were in an ancient riverbed (known as a Wadi) northwest of the town where the water table was fairly close to the surface. This land was controlled and farmed by just a few family groups. The few oases around the area were mostly used only for date palms.

Alley Cropping Revisited

Alley cropping was not intended to be a way to increase yields/acre. The purpose was to shorten or eliminate fallow periods.

A Lesson in Agroforestry

Cheryl Beckett

Agroforestry: In its simplest definition (as quoted by ECHO's Technical Note "Agroforestry Principles"), "agroforestry is the production of trees and of non-tree crops or animals on the same piece of land." It should be viewed more as a creative process than as a set technique because it is ongoing, dynamic, flexible, and practical.

Agroforestry involves deliberately using woody perennials (trees, shrubs, palms or bamboos) with crops and/or animals on the same piece of land. These can be cultivated on a piece of land at the same time, and/or in consecutive cropping seasons. Trees are not just allowed or tolerated but planted, arranged, managed and utilized in conjunction with one or more other elements to allow a farm to function at a fuller capacity, making it more productive for a longer period of time.