Africa Compost Farming Bassila Benin West Africa Saturday, September 23, 2006
I am wondering how to farm in this part of the world. I would not want to have a garden here, the weeds and green grows so fast weeds could eat the garden. The rains are pouring down, I think this is why they plow or make high points and large valleys between the plants to allow water to drain and not wash away the planets. This is all just a guess; I wish I could ask questions that would eventually lead to answers.
However, weed management, there is too much green here often, it seems a person could cut it and pile it on the ground. Then slowly create a layer of dead vegetation like a deep base of leaves in a Maple Tree wood, where they are wet, and kill the plants underneath. Then by digging holes inside the matt of dead vegetation or compost, turning to humus, a person could create a small island location to grow vegetables or something, instead of fighting the weeds, use them to kill the weeds. Cover all the ground with dead vegetation, just an idea, there is lots of water now.
Most of the farming I see in Africa is a two-part farm technique, where they plant orange trees and grow something in between or like in Niger where they grow Millet and then have beans or peanuts growing between the rows. An intense use of land, however tells you they are not harvesting the crops by machines or combines. The best I can tell only about 30 percent of the tillable land is utilized for crops, maybe even less. In Niger further north, where vegetation is less because of the dry climate, moving toward Sahara Desert they have more farming as I remember, or they till a higher percentage.