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Fitting soilimproving legumes into inland valley ricebased cropping systems in West Africa
Because of their favourable hydrology, the small inland valleys of West Africa offer the possibility of sustainable increases in food crop production. A key component in any sustainable cropping system is the maintenance or restoration of soil fertility. This paper explores avenues for introducing biological nitrogen fixation management into existing cropping systems. A description of one system has allowed the identification of possible niches for leguminous species. Various activities are being conducted to generate technology to introduce legumes into ricebased cropping systems in the inland valleys. These include Sesbania rostrata management trials, screening exotic leguminous green manure germplasm under inland valley conditions, surveys of legumes indigenous to inland valleys, and screening soybean and cowpea varieties under inland valley conditions.