New concepts and approaches to land management in the tropics with emphasis on steeplands
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Small farmers living on steeplands in the tropics comprise a large sector of the world population. They operate in subsistence agricultural systems using traditional technologies designed to achieve sustained crop production at very low yield and income levels. Thus, most steeplands have relatively stable, sustained production systems with minimum land degradation. However, there is growing awareness that sustainability of subsistence agriculture on steeplands is steadily deteriorating as a result of rapidly growing population and overexploitation of the land resource base. Given the various limitations affecting steeplands agriculture, few soil management and conservation options remain. This bulletin attempts to explore potential avenues for developing strategies to maintain sustainability of steeplands agriculture. To maintain sustainability, however, signficant improvements in crop production on steeplands must come from improved soil management practices focusing on soil and water conservation, improved crop management, and use of cropping systems designed to reduce soil erosion and maintain soil productivity.