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Fertilizer tree

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– Use in Africa:
– Faidherbia albida in Malawi and Zambia doubles or triples maize yields.
– Fertilizer trees in evergreen agriculture improve food security.
– Niger has over 4.8 million hectares of Faidherbia agroforests.
– Zambia has 300,000 hectares of fertilizer trees.
– Farmers in Zambia and Malawi plant trees in a checkerboard pattern every 30 feet.

– See also:
– Ecoscaping
Green manure for fertilization with herbaceous legumes

– References:
– Langford, Kate (October 14, 2011). New Study Finds 400,000 Farmers in Southern Africa Using Fertilizer Trees.
– Zambian Fertilizer Trees Improve Soil, Maize Production (November 2009).
– Evergreen Agriculture World Agroforestry Centre.
– Marshall, Jessica (August 8, 2012). African tree acts as fertilizer factory for crops.
– Langford, Kate (August 31, 2011). Surviving drought through agroforestry.

– Impact on Environment:
– Fertilizer trees prevent desert expansion.
– They help maintain agriculture in arid lands across Africa.
Green manure from herbaceous legumes enriches soil.
Agroforestry promotes biodiversity and soil health.
– Ecoscaping enhances ecosystem resilience.

– Benefits for Farmers:
– Increased crop yields with fertilizer trees.
– Improved food security in regions like Malawi and Zambia.
– Sustainable agricultural practices with evergreen agriculture.
– Drought resilience through agroforestry.
– Cost-effective soil improvement methods.

Fertilizer tree (Wikipedia)

Fertilizer trees are used in agroforestry to improve the condition of soils used for farming. As woody legumes, they capture nitrogen from the air and put it in the soil through their roots and falling leaves. They can also bring nutrients from deep in the soil up to the surface for crops with roots that cannot reach that depth. Fertilizer trees are further useful for preventing fertilizer erosion, soil degradation and related desertification, and improving water usage for crops.

Sesbania, Gliricidia, Tephrosia, and Faidherbia albida are known as fertilizer trees. Tree lucerne or tagasaste (Cytisus proliferus) is able to fix more than 587 kg. of nitrogen per hectare per year. It can increase maize (corn) yields from 1 ton per hectare per year to more than 10 tons per ha/year in areas with more than 850 mm. of rain per year or a perched water table. Tree lucerne is also used to create and maintain terra preta.

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