Renewed research on Gliricidia sepium to improve soil fertility

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Over eighty-three percent of Africa’s arable land is infertile, which has posed a significant challenge for smallholder farmers as it affects their livelihood. This infertility resulted from applying chemical fertilizers on plants and soils, length of the fallow period, erosion, and burning bushes on the same soil for plantation.

However, the decline in crop yield and soil fertility is attributed to the physical, biological, and chemical qualities, negative nutrient balance, loss of organic matter, nutrient removal, poor nutrient cycling process, and soil acidity.

Studies in the agricultural innovative space reveal that the integration of leguminous trees within alley cropping systems emerges as a promising avenue, showcasing the remarkable potential for both productivity and sustainability in the tropics. These tree species boost soil fertility and increase crop yield, thereby fortifying the resilience of tropical agroecosystems.

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