Obstacles to the Adoption of Cover Crops

The Mucuna in Benin
  • Emile N. Houngbo


In 1969 Thorbecke established that the discussions regarding development strategies had had a profound effect on the analyses of agricultural growth. He indicated that more and more economists, who had been almost totally ignorant of the strategic importance of agriculture in economic growth, were shifting the blame for the failure of Third World development strategies on to the theories which had advocated accelerated industrialization. This once again raises the problem of the place to be accorded to agriculture in development, in particular in the Third World where it is still the predominant sector of production and employment. The role of agriculture is therefore vital in any development system which is meant to be durable insofar as it represents the very prototype of an economic production entity where the trilogy of the production factors - Land /Capital/Labor - has not been sufficiently substantiated. Land and capital are closely intertwined, so much so that some identify land as capital at the level of the land resource. Land as capital is comparable to the value in land. Indeed it is particularly in agriculture that land cannot automatically be considered as a finite natural resource. In this economic entity, humankind uses input and cultivation methods to improve the land so that it becomes a capital which can be amassed. The use in agro-forestry of cover crops such as the Mucuna pruriens enhances the agricultural production capacity of land-capital.


Porosity Income Marketing Straw Aeration 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emile N. Houngbo
    • 1
  1. 1.GRAAP-DESR (FSA/UNB)CotonouRep du Benin

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