The AFNETA alley farming training manual - Volume 1: Core course in alley farming

Table of Contents

Alley Farming Network for Tropical Africa - Ibadan 1992

Network Coordinator: Kwesi (A.N.) Atta-Krah
Assistant Coordinator: N. Sanginga

Editors: Bansh R. Tripathi and Paul J. Psychas



The Alley Farming Network for Tropical Africa (AFNETA) was established in 1989 to promote and coordinate alley farming research and development within the national agricultural research systems (NARS) of the region. Network activities include collaborative research, individual and group training, and information dissemination and exchange.

AFNETA/NARS collaborative research projects are found in 20 different countries and in all major agroecological zones. The main topics of research are screening of multipurpose trees, alley farming management trials, livestock integration in alley farming, and on-farm R & D and socioeconomic investigation. AFNETA collaborates with several other networks, institutions and organisations in the implementation of its programs.

Three international research centers founded AFNETA and now provide technical backstopping: the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA), and the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF). IITA, which houses the network's coordination unit, also provides administrative support.

Financial support for coordinating activities has been provided by the International Development Research Center (IDRC) and the Canadian Agency for International Development (CIDA). Major funding for national research activities has been provided by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), with additional support from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported the collaborative research projects at U.S. universities.

© 1992
Alley Farming Network for Tropical Africa
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan

Printed at the International Livestock Centre for Africa, Addis Ababa

ISBN 978- 131-074-X (Volume 1)
ISBN 978-131-075-8 (Volume 2)

AFNETA permits reproduction of this document for non-profit purposes. Acknowledgment of source is appreciated. For commercial reproduction, contact the AFNETA Coordinator.

Address any inquiries or suggestions to:

The Coordinator, AFNETA, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, PMB 5320, Oyo Rd., Ibadan, Nigeria

Telephone: (022) 400300-400314. Telex: TROPIB NG 31417 Cable: TROPFOUND IKEJA

This electronic document has been scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) software and careful manual recorrection. Even if the quality of digitalisation is high, the FAO declines all responsibility for any discrepancies that may exist between the present document and its original printed version.

Table of Contents



List of Contributors

Unit 1: Introduction to Alley Farming

1.0 Performance objectives
1.1 The rationale for alley farming in tropical Africa

1.1.1 Africa's Agricultural and Environmental Crisis
1.1.2 Bush-Fallow Systems no longer Viable
1.1.3 The Potential of Agroforestry

1.2 Description of alley farming

1.2.1 Essential Characteristics of the System
1.2.2 Comparison to Bush-Fallow System
1.2.3 Summary of Benefits

1.3 History of alley farming research
1.4 Review of recent research

1.4.1 Effects on Soil Properties
1.4.2 Effects on Crop Production
1.4.3 Supplemental Nutrition for Livestock
1.4.4 Wood Production

1.5 Research needs

1.5.1 Multipurpose Tree (MPT) Screening
1.5.2 Alley Farming Management Studies
1.5.3 Livestock Integration
1.5.4 On-Farm Research and Socio-economic Assessment
1.5.5 Basic Research Needs

1.6 The alley farming network for tropical Africa

1.6.1 Research Strategy

1.7 Feedback exercises
1.8 Suggested reading
1.9 References

Unit 2: Multipurpose Tree Screening and Evaluation

2.0 Performance objectives
2.1 Suitable tree and shrub species for alley farming

2.1.1 General Selection Criteria
2.1.2 Additional Criteria for Forage Production
2.1.3 Environmental Adaptation Selection Criteria

2.2 Methods for MPT screening and evaluation

2.2.1 Stages of Experimentation
2.2.2 Additional Guidelines for MPT Screening Experiments

2.3 Sources of seeds and seedlings

2.3.1 Nursery Operations
2.3.2 Acquisition of Seed from External Sources

2.4 MPTs germplasm documentation and improvement
2.5 Feedback exercises
2.6 Suggested reading/ references

Unit 3: Establishment and Management of Alley Farming Systems

3.0 Performance objectives
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Guidelines for hedgerow establishment

3.2.1 Land Preparation and Timing of Planting
3.2.2 Planting by Direct Seeding
3.2.3 Seed Planting Depth
3.2.4 Seed Pretreatment Procedures
3.2.5 Inoculation of Legume Seeds
3.2.6 Planting with Seedlings or Cuttings
3.2.7 Spacing and Orientation of Hedgerows
3.2.8 Humid Zone Prototype with Leucaena and/or Gliricidia
3.2.9 Variations on the Prototype
3.2.10 Fertilizer Requirements during Establishment
3.2.11 Common Establishment Problems
3.2.12 Hints on Successful Seedling Establishment

3.3 Guidelines for hedgerow management

3.3.1 Pruning Regimes
3.3.2 Application of Mulch and Fertilizer
3.3.3 Short Fallow Periods
3.3.4 Weed Control

3.4 Feedback exercises
3.5 Suggested reading

Unit 4: The Integration of Livestock Production in Alley Farming

4.0 Performance objectives
4.1 Introduction to alley farming in smallholder livestock production
4.2 Contributions of leguminous trees to livestock nutrition

4.2.1 Increased Productivity
4.2.2 Solutions to Dry Season Constraints

4.3 Alley farming with food crops and livestock

4.3.1 Forage Production during Cropping
4.3.2 Forage Production from Hedgerows during Fallow

4.4 Alley farming with grass

4.4.1 Intensive Feed Gardens
4.4.2 Alley Grazing - Rotational System
4.4.3 Alley Grazing - Permanent System
4.4.4 Fodder Tree Banks

4.5 Special considerations for alley farming with livestock

4.5.1 Choice of MPT Species
4.5.2 Establishment of Tree/Grass Intercrops
4.5.3 Management of Fodder Trees in Alley Farming
4.5.4 Animal Nutrition

4.6 Research needs for alley farming with livestock
4.7 Feedback exercises
4.8 Suggested reading
4.9 References

Unit 5: On-Farm Research

5.0 Performance objectives
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Definition of on-farm research
5.3 Why do on-farm research?

5.3.1 Testing and Validation
5.3.2 Development and Adaptation
5.3.3 Demonstration and Extension

5.4 Types of on-farm research

5.4.1 Experimental OFR
5.4.2 Developmental OFR
5.4.3 Three Phases in Developmental OFR

5.5 The importance of developmental OFR for composite technologies
5.6 Recommendations for extension of alley farming
5.7 On-farm adaptations
5.8 Feedback exercises
5.9 Suggested reading
5.10 References

Unit 6: Socio-economic Assessment of Alley Farming

6.0 Performance objectives
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Contributions of social science to alley farming research

6.2.1 Areas of Effectiveness
6.2.2 Socio-economic Investigation in AFNETA Research

6.3 Framework for socio-economic analysis

6.3.1 The Farming System
6.3.2 Key Questions in Socio-economic Evaluation

6.4 Adoption of alley farming: five major issues

6.4.1 Land and Tree Tenure Systems
6.4.2 Labor Requirements
6.4.3 Management Complexity
6.4.4 Differential Social Prospects for Adoption
6.4.5 Overall Profitability and Acceptability

6.5 Diffusion of alley farming: three major issues

6.5.1 Recommendation Domain
6.5.2 Scientific, Institutional, and Public Support
6.5.3 International Cooperation

6.6 Feedback exercises
6.7 Suggested reading
6.8 References


Appendix A: Inoculation Techniques

Source of Rhizobia Inoculant
How to Handle Rhizobia Cultures
Standard Laboratory Method at IITA for Peat Inoculant
Field Inoculation Method

Appendix B: Seed Production of Leucaena and Gliricidia

Establishing a Seed Orchard
Seed Collection and Handling

Appendix C: Contour Planting Techniques

Planting on Gently Sloping Land
Using an A-Frame to Plant on Steep Slopes
Additional Erosion Control Measures

Appendix D: Productivity Indices for West African Dwarf Breeds
Appendix E: Farmer Equivalents for Measuring Units
Appendix F: Glossary of Terms