Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF)P.O.Box 30677, Nairobi, Kenya andUniversity of Copenhagen, Department of Geography ุster Voldgade 10, 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
Indigenous agroforestry systems in central Uganda are a prime example of indigenous organic farming systems. Through extensive use of indigenous trees in banana and coffee farmers areable to maintain a high level of soil fertility and extend the economic life of banana shambas considerably. The systems are still poorly understood scientifically and research is likely to yield much useful information. In particular one dilemma is intriguing: The two most common tree species used by farmers in bananashambas are Ficus natalensis and Albizia coriaria. According to farmers they have similar positive effect on the crop although they are very different in many aspects, e.g. A. coriaria is nitrogen fixing, has a tap root and leaves that decomposes fast, whereas F. natalensis does not fix nitrogen, has a superficial fibrous root system and slowly decomposing leaves. Based on our present scientific understanding of agroforestry it is hard to explain why F. natalensis is a good agroforestry tree.
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