Self reliance through Growing your own Food

This is the first post of a series I have planned to write on “Growing your own food and Urban Farming“.

Well, as an introduction to the topic, I believe a few methods used around the world to increase crop yields is worth mentioning. These methods not only deal with increasing a household’s income, they also contribute enormously to food security (a concern in many parts of the world).

A Fertilizer Tree in a field (Source: www.nbcnews.com)
A Fertilizer Tree in a field (Source: http://www.nbcnews.com)

I recently wrote an article in the news site  Jharkhand State News, on what I had read about African farmers being able to increase (almost triple) their crop yields just by planting fertilizer trees in their fields. Now, these fertilizer trees (belonging to the family, Fabaceae or Leguminosae )are a native to certain parts of Africa. They are now been grown in countries like India, which is a  hugely agrarian economy and farming is a primary source of income for a large rural population.

Growing fertilizer trees is a way to reduce dependence on chemical fertilizers and maintain soil health as well. These trees basically contribute to the nitrogen in the soil as they contain nodules that form symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationships with atmospheric-nitrogen fixing microorganisms that fix the atmospheric nitrogen into forms that are usable for plants. So the leaves of these trees (when they fall off ) provide nitrogen to the soil and aid the healthy growth of the crops in the field. In addition, the deep, tap-root system of these plants hold the soil and prevent erosion and maintain proper water levels (preventing drought).

You can read my original article here: “Farmers in Africa use ‘Fertilizer trees’ to double crop yields”

You may also like:

Generating Bio-electricity from Leaves

Through the lens of a microscope

10 Biggest scientific achievements of 2012.

Genetics of your Blood Group

Varicose Veins

©The Idea Bucket, 2013

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5 Comments

  1. The topic of soil health is really important. There’s lots of places in the world where the food produced is of poor nutritional quality. This is problematic for preconception health, pregnant women and children.

  2. I think this idea is excellent. We need to work on providing food security for everyone, especially in areas where it is difficult to grow crops. This will become even more critical with global warming.

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