Slash/Mulch Systems: Sustainable Methods for Tropical Agriculture

Synopsis

Slash/mulch systems, ancient agricultural practices still widely used today, are often overlooked by farmers or mistaken for slash-and-burn systems; however, slash/mulch systems, in which vegetation is cut and mulched on site rather than being discarded or burned, are far more beneficial than are the latter, particularly in tropical regions. This informative overview and analysis of slash/mulch practices around the world shows that they have generally shortened the necessary fallow periods and have restored degraded soils, thus increasing or stabilizing yields. These improvements, in turn, have allowed small-scale, resource-poor farmers to compete more effectively with larger commercial farmers and have enabled subsistence farmers to achieve food security. Alley cropping, velvetbean-maize systems, and various coppicing practices are just a few of the many types of slash/mulch systems profiled in this useful study.

Additional information

Contributors:
Includes content by:
  • George Abawi
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Boulder, CO
Publication year:
  • 1997