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Manayan Farm, Malalam, Ilagan

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Hilltop, Santo Tomas, Naguilian

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Farm 03 Cadu, Ilagan

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Ecoculture Techniques

Windbreak

Field Windbreaks in Nrth DakotaField Windbreaks in Nrth Dakota (Wikipedia photo)

windbreak or shelterbelt is a plantation usually made up of one or more rows of trees or shrubs planted in such a manner as to provide shelter from the wind and to protect soil from erosion. They are commonly planted around the edges of fields on farms. If designed properly, windbreaks around a home can reduce the cost of heating and cooling and save energy. Windbreaks are also planted to help keep snow from drifting onto roadways and even yards. Other benefits include providing habitat for wildlife and in some regions the trees are harvested for wood products.

Windbreaks and intercropping can be combined in a farming practice referred to as alleycropping. Fields are planted in rows of different crops surrounded by rows of trees. These trees provide fruit, wood, or protect the crops from the wind. Alley cropping has been particularly successful in India, Africa, and Brazil, where coffee growers have combined farming and forestry.[1]

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Ecotechnology

During Ecotechnics '95 - International Symposium on Ecological Engineering in ÖstersundSweden, the participants agreed on the definition: ”Ecotechnics is defined as the method of designing future societies within ecological frames.”

Comprehensive EcoCulture Projects proposed for the Santo Tomas Farms
Comprehensive EcoCulture Projects proposed for the Santo Tomas Farms. In our EcoCulture studies, we integrate the unique terrains, climate, local flora and fauna, and other ecosytems features and resources unique to the site in designing our EcoCulture projects.

Ecotechnology is an applied science that seeks to fulfill human needs while causing minimal ecological disrupution, by harnessing and manipulating natural forces to leverage their beneficial effects. Ecotechnology integrates two fields of study: the 'ecology of technics' and the 'technics of ecology,' requiring an understanding of the structures and processes of ecosystems and societies. All sustainable engineering that can reduce damage to ecosystems, adopt ecology as a fundamental basis, and ensure conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development may be considered as forms of ecotechnology.

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Push-Pull Farming System

Push-Pull Farming System
Push-Pull Farming System

Africa faces increasingly serious problems in its ability to feed its rapidly growing population, resulting in high hunger and poverty incidences. Growth in agricultural productivity is essential to reduce hunger and poverty and ensure food security. Agricultural growth can be achieved by reducing incidence of the major constraints to productivity such as pests, weeds and degraded soils. These constraints are responsible for the continent’s crop productivity being the lowest in the world, and cause high levels of hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Governments, donors and stakeholders in the Agricultural value chains recognise that in order to address hunger and poverty, these constraints must be effectively addressed. Therefore development and deployment of technologies that would improve sustainability and resilience of the farming systems are needed to contribute towards ending hunger and poverty in Africa and indeed the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The main staple foods in the average African diet are cereals. However, in spite of availability of a number of cereal varieties with improved yield potential, the productivity of staple cereal crops remains low, around 1t/ha. Every year there is thus a critical shortage of cereals in many smallholder households, leading to high grain prices, hunger, undernourishment and widespread poverty. According to the World Development Report (2007), significant yield gains can be made by increasing the productivity of the cereal crops.

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Management of Striga and stemborers in sorghum Sorghum bicolor through Push-Pull technology

 
Desmodium intortum (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_041113-0772_Desmodium_intortum.jpg)

The aim of our study was to assess the potential role of greenleaf desmodium, Desmodium intortum in a combined management of striga and stemborers, which would lead to development of a suitable push–pull strategy for sorghum. Relative to other Desmodium spp., D. intortum withstands drought conditions better and wilts less. It also has a relatively higher nitrogen-fixing ability, over 300 kg N/ha per year under optimum conditions and, therefore, is more appropriate as an intercrop for the degraded environments where sorghum cultivation is widely practiced.

Read more: Management of Striga and stemborers in sorghum Sorghum bicolor through Push-Pull technology

Integration of edible beans Phaseolus vulgaris into the Push–Pull technology

 Phaseolus-vulgaris
Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)

One of the bottlenecks hindering rapid uptake of the Push–Pull technology is the fact that the intercrop, desmodium, although quality fodder, is not an edible plant for humans and replaces beans which are traditionally interplanted with maize. Beans constitute a major source of protein for the resource-poor farmers that cannot be compensated by a higher consumption of dairy products and meat that result from the fodder component provided by desmodium. Therefore, in an effort to address this constraint, we undertook a series of studies in Kenya to:

Read more: Integration of edible beans Phaseolus vulgaris into the Push–Pull technology