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Findings and challenges: Can vegetables be productive under tree shade management in West Java?
Susila, Anas D.
Roshetko, James M.
Palada, Manuel C.
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Farmers in Nanggung, West Java traditionally cultivate vegetables under full sunlight. There is opportunity to expand vegetable production in the understory of agroforestry system, but farmers have limited experience with such practices. An on-farm trial was implemented to evaluate the production of 11 commercial vegetable species under three levels of tree shading in a nested design, replicated 3 times. The species included in the trial were honje (Etlingera elatior), terubuk (Saccharum edule), katuk (Sauropus androgynus (L.) Merrill), kenikir (Cosmos caudatus Kunth), kangkong (Ipomoea aquatica Forsskal), amaranth (Amaranthus sp.), chili (Capsicum annuum L.), eggplant (Solanum melongena L.), long bean (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.), green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Miller). Twenty-five independent variables were analyzed for their effect on vegetable survival, growth and yield. Average light levels for each treatment were 482-540 *1000 lux (open area, control), 43-540 *1000 lux (medium light) and 32-174 *1000 lux (low light). Preliminary results indicate that vegetable production under dudukuhan (agroforestry) systems shade is a viable option for smallholder farmers, however more intensive species-specific and site-specific management is required. A program of training and extension support would help smallholders develop such deliberate management practices.