Tree intercropping could save Africa’s soils.

Scientists have reported in Nature that the agroforestry approach of planting nutrient-fixing trees with food crops could help replenish Africa’s poor quality soils, tackling one of the biggest threats to food security on the continent. Planting certain perennial trees together with food crops can more than double yields for maize and millet, which are among Sub-Saharan Africa’s staple foods, scientists say. According to the comment article, ‘Agriculture: plant perennials to save Africa’s soils’, deep-rooted trees that live for two years or longer in crop fields would be a better and more sustainable option than expensive chemical fertilisers and often inadequate organic manures. Trees such as Acacia albida, pigeon pea and Gliricidia could significantly fortify soils with nitrogen and potassium, elements critical to soil health

Brown Mang Onwuka

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s