Sheep and wheat are the staples of dryland farms in the Mediterranean zone of the Northern hemisphere. The commonly used dryland farming system introduced in the 1950s is proving unsustainable. Erosion has reached a critical level and pastures have all but disappeared. Experts advise more cropping (forage crops for instance) and more fertiliser. Yet intensification of the present system will only hasten erosion. Is there an alternative system that is both environmentally sustainable and within the means of most farmers in the region? Innovative farmers in a similar climate in Australia discovered a sustainable rotation using annual medics as both fertiliser and pasture. Attempts to transfer their knowledge have often foundered. Why is this so? How much do the experts know about this system? This book pulls apart the warp and weft of development on dryland farms to try to find some answers to these questions.
• Describes an environmentally acceptable way of increasing the yield of farmers in dryland zones • A unique account of the problems encountered in transferring knowledge from one group of farmers to another • Written by leading authorities on the medic system of dryland farming
Preface; Part I. Medic and Other Systems: 1. Why use medic?; 2. Farming in South Australia before medic; 3. Medics and sub-clover on the farms; Part II. The Projects: 4. A demonstration medic farm in Libya; 5. The grazing phase and farmer training; 6. A medic project in Algeria, 7. A medic project in Jordan; 8. Two medic projects in Iraq; Part III. Institutions, Agencies, Local Farmers and Technicians: 9. Institutions, agencies and medic 1950–1980; 10. Institutions, agencies and medic 1980–1993; 11. On the farms in Tunisia; 12. On the farms in Morocco; 14. The future of medic; Bibliography; Index.
'... a deeply informed study ... a book which should be on the shelves of all libraries in institutions world-wide concerned with agricultural science, all aspects of developmental studies and relayed specialisations, as well as international agencies and NGOs'. MEWREW
'I enjoyed reading this text, partly because the enthusiasm of the authors comes through in their writing. It is well presented with good quality black and white photographs, text figures and tables.' Stephen Nortcliff, Annals of Botany