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New medics reduce costs.

Pod holding medic

The breeding of pod holding medics is an exciting new development. The medic plants hold their pods. They are easy and cheap to harvest using standard cereal harvesters.

Free Downloads

This site is free but printing from web pages is often difficult. The Free Download service provides some parts of the site in pdf files that can be easily printed for use in the field or in the class room.

New rotation for WANA

Zaghouan 4 Rotation

  This is an innovative rotation from Tunisia based on medic pasture incorporated into the traditional fallow system. It is particularly suitable for small farmers without tractors, dependent on contracting services. Medic pod harvester explained.
West Asia and North Africa have been divided into four principle zones for information on farming, land tenure and management use this entrance to the site.

High Rainfall, Cereal Zone, Marginal Zone, Rangeland

These are a complete photo guide to the growing of medic in the WANA region. They are based on a series of FAO filmstrips produced to train farmers and extension agents. They include topics such as:

Why grow medic?

Failure of the fallow rotation.

What is medic? Where does medic grow?

Establishing a medic pasture using seed.

Shallow cultivation for cereals.

Managing a medic pasture.

The dangers of deep ploughing.

Can we learn from medic projects and programs over the last 30 years? Why do bureaucrats make poor farmers? Can specialised institutions cope with medic? Why have Ministries of Agriculture in WANA been unable to exploit success?
Can small farmers in WANA survive? How can they reduce costs and increase returns?  How can they access more land? Can marketing and buying groups help? Is smart farming an option for small farmers?
Cut and paste the information on this site to produce flip charts, radio scripts, books and brochures. Tailor make the information for farmers and other audiences.
About the authors of this site and their  PUBLICATIONS
Search for topics through an index rather than farming zones and other chapters.
We welcome discussion and comment on this site.
The Dryland Farming Organisation can provide the material on this site in CD format. This is more convenient for constant reference. It is not dependent on internet connections and is particularly useful for photos which may take a long time to down load on the web.
Medic is a constant theme throughout this site. We have used it as a generic name for "self regenerating legumes." More details are provided. Medic is the basis of a complete different concept of farming. I have called it "green" farming in contrast to conventional "brown" farming.
Useful links to other farming sites and institutions.
Nitrogen fertiliser is produced from large amounts of energy - most of which comes from fossil fuel sources. With growing concerns amount greenhouse gases the production of fertiliser needs to be reviewed. When nitrogen is used in farming more greenhouse gases are released. What is the alternative? How can nitrogen fertiliser use be reduced? Is a green revolution possible without cheap N?

Some recent up dates

The curse of nitrogen fertiliser

The dark green farming revolution in West Asia and North Africa.

by Brian Chatterton. Keynote address to Ministerial dialogue at International Conferenc on Food Security,

Doha, Qatar 14th and 15th November 2012

Why "dryland" not "rainfed"?  Tunis and London have about the same average rainfall. They have very different climates. We have used "dryland farming" to make a distinction. The climate of West Asia and North Africa has a hot, dry summer. The rainfall is concentrated in the winter and spring which is the main growing period. Technology from northern temperate regions with cool. moist summers rarely works in the WANA region.