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On-farm experimentation with intercrops: a summary of issues from a workshop held in Malawi

Author: Waddington, S.R.
Year: 1990
ISSN: 0187-828X
ISSN: ISSN: 0187-828X
Abstract: Most intercropping research has been conducted on experiment stations with the aim of proving or understanding the efficiency or advantage of intercropping systems, or of designing new systems on the basis of biological principles. However, experiment station trials often make poor predictions of the best varieties, fertiliser rates and application methods, population densities, and sometimes disease control techniques for use by smallholder farmers in their intercrops. A workshop, Research Methods for Cereal/Legume Intercropping, was held in Lilongwe during January 1989. The workshop participants reached the consensus that much intercropping research should aim to offer farmers improvements on their existing intercropping systems and that to do this more research should be conducted on-farm using a production problem orientation. Many presenters and discussants at the workshop emphasised that most of the general issues and techniques related to farmer oriented on-farm intercrop research are similar to those for other forms of on-farm agronomic research. There are however some aspects that differ. These special considerations, rather than the similarities, are emphasised here. This summary draws on presentations and discussion at the workshop in Malawi. Emphasis is on concepts and methods for on-farm adaptive intercrop research and little attention is paid to specific intercropping experimental factors, such as genotypes, weeds, fertiliser, and plant spatial arrangements. No attempt has been made to address other relevant issues not covered in that workshop. Also, some of the points made here did not enjoy unanimous endorsement at the workshop.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: CIMMYT
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Region: Global
Pages: 20-26
Issue: 7
Keywords: Research Stations
Keywords: Fertilizer Rates
Keywords: Population Densities
Keywords: Disease Control Techniques
Journal: Farming Systems Bulletin Eastern and Southern Africa

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  • Sustainable Intensification
    Sustainable intensification agriculture including topics on cropping systems, agronomy, soil, mechanization, precision agriculture, etc.

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