Interplanting seasonal crops with longer-living woody plants. After the crop is harvested, the trees grow until it is time to plant the seasonal crop again, after one or perhaps two years. The trees are harvested for fuelwood and green material mulches the soil.
Relay planting sesbania into a growing maize crop produces a sesbania fallow that grows well into the long dry season typical of the plateau of southern Africa. Towards the end of the dry season, sesbania leaves fall and farmers can cut the stems for poles and firewood. A subsequent maize crop in Zomba, Malawi, yielded 2.2 tonnes/ha of maize at a time when sole maize yielded only 0.5 tonnes because of severe drought. Similar work at Chipata and Chalimbana in Zambia shows the potential of both 1- and 2-year-old sesbania fallows.
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