Tah village project in Syria: Another unsuccessful attempt to introduce ley-farming in the Mediterranean basin
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Scott Christiansen, M. Bounejmate, H. Sawmy-Edo, B. Mawlawi, Farouk Shomo, Phil S. Cocks, Thomas L Nordblom. (1/4/2000). Tah village project in Syria: Another unsuccessful attempt to introduce ley-farming in the Mediterranean basin. Experimental Agriculture, 36 (2), pp. 181-193.
A participatory on-farm research project was started at Tah village, 100 km south of Aleppo, Syria in 1984. The objective was to introduce annual medics (Medicago spp.) as a replacement for fallow in dryland wheat (Triticum durum)/fallow farming systems. About 50 farmers were directly involved in the project while an equal number were passive participants, receiving seed but no technical advice. The project did not attain its original intention of introducing a ley-farming system into Syria. The Syrian Government decided to eliminate fallow - which was to receive medics - in the agricultural planning for 1989-90. An array of profitable crops such as lentil (Lens culinaris), cumin (Cuminum cyminum), sesame (Sesamum indicum) and watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), together with price supports on wheat presented formidable economic competition to the use of pasture on cultivated land. Technical constraints include insufficient farm size, lack of a medic phase in every year, deep ploughing, overgrazing and uncontrolled grazing. The Tah project experience also suggests that feed production projects must include an assessment of how the reed benefits animals and be designed to demonstrate the economic advantages of integrating livestock and crops in dryland farming systems.
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