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Nkala P.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Mango N.,Center for International Tropical Agriculture | Corbeels M.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Veldwisch G.J.,Wageningen University | Huising J.,Soil Scientist and Coordinator of the Below Ground
African Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2011

Low crop productivity, food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition; inadequate farming knowledge and skills, implements and inputs are characteristic of smallholder agriculture in Southern Africa. Many researchers argue that conservation agriculture can guarantee higher crop productivity, food security, improved livelihoods and environmental protection, better than the unsustainable traditional systems of slash and burn practices. In this paper, we present the results of a meta-analysis of over 40 academic publications to review conservation agriculture's role in influencing desired livelihood outcomes in Southern Africa. We conclude that the effectiveness of conservation agriculture towards better livelihood outcomes in Southern Africa remains debatable, especially when supportive government policies are lacking. © 2011 Academic Journals.


Heinritz S.N.,University of Hohenheim | Hoedtke S.,University of Rostock | Martens S.D.,Center for International Tropical Agriculture | Peters M.,Center for International Tropical Agriculture | Zeyner A.,University of Rostock
Livestock Research for Rural Development | Year: 2012

Herbage of Cratylia argentea, Desmodium velutinum, Fleminigia macrophylla, Leucaena diversifolia, Canavalia brasiliensis, Centrosema brasilianum, Clitoria ternatea, Lablab purpureus, Stylosanthes guianensis and Vigna unguiculata from the CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture) gene bank were assessed for their nutritional value and in-vitro digestibility for pigs in order to predict their potential as alternative protein supplement in a tropical smallholder context. Crude protein (CP) contents ranged from 137 to 257 g kg -1 dry matter (DM) (mean 191 g kg -1 DM), although a considerable proportion of it, 27% on average, was bound to neutral detergent fiber (NDF). Interesting levels of lysine were found in Cratylia argentea (14 g kg -1 DM) and Leucaena diversifolia (13 g kg -1 DM), whereby the latter was also high in tannic acid concentration (49 g kg -1 DM) thus limiting the amino acid digestibility. Vigna unguiculata presented highest in-vitro enzymatic degradability (521 g kg -1 DM), which even increased in a 40:60 mixture with maize. Lowest degradation was obtained with Flemingia macrophylla (248 g kg -1 DM), while the median of the forages approached 390 g kg -1 DM. It is concluded, that Vigna unguiculata herbage meal has the highest potential to be successfully included in pig diets, while Cratylia argentea meal should equally be assessed in vivo.

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