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Nic Dexter leads the Feed the Future Mozambique Resilient Agricultural Markets Activity--Beira Corridor project. Through the support of the American people and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the project helps producers in Mozambique increase their productivity and profitability while increasing their resilience to climate change through conservation agriculture. Nic recently shared several technical briefs developed by the project, which have been translated from the original Portuguese. The documents are concisely written and include attractive photos and graphs. We have posted them (with permission) on ECHOcommunity.org.


  1. Four nutrient deficiencies--phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and magnesium--can be diagnosed by observing maize leaves. This document includes photos of a healthy maize leaf and of maize leaves demonstrating each of these nutrient deficiencies. It also contains suggestions for how to address each...
  2. This document distinguishes between ‘anchor’ cover crops (that are intercropped with a main crop such as maize) and ‘secondary’ cover crops (that don’t compete with the main crop because they have a short life cycle, and that can help cover the soil at the start of the growing season). The...
  3. Jack bean is an excellent plant for enriching soil, because it grows under very difficult conditions. However, the beans contain toxins that normally make them unsuitable for human consumption. This document describes how to germinate jack bean to remove the toxins and increase the beans’...
  4. This short document contains graphs that show how zero tillage leads to increased water infiltration and increased water retention in soil.
  5. In the Push-Pull system, crops that repel pests and/or attract pests’ predators are intercropped with maize, to ‘push’ pests away from the main crop. Plants that attract pests are planted around the field, to ‘pull’ pests away from the maize. Incorporating legumes in this system means that soil...