Tapping indigenous herbaceous legumes for soil fertility management by resource-poor farmers in Zimbabwe

P. Mapfumo, F. Mtambanengwe, K.E. Giller, S. Mpepereki

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37 Citations (Scopus)


A 2-year study was conducted in three rainfall zones of Zimbabwe to explore opportunities for harnessing biological nitrogen fixation of non-cultivated herbaceous legumes, which hitherto have been regarded simply as weeds, in order to improve soil productivity on smallholder farms. The rainfall zones used ranged from sub-humid (800 mm annually) to semi-arid (50 kg N ha-1. While such relatively small amounts of N input may not result in dramatic yield increases for subsequent crops, they may make a critical contribution towards reversing the highly negative nutrient balances prevailing on the fields of resource-poor farmers. Overall plant biomass yields were
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-233
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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