On-Farm Green Manure Cover Crop (GMCC) Intercropping Strategy Trial under Conservation Agriculture

This study contains data originated from on-farm trials that were conducted to provide viable options to smallholder farmers to improve soil fertility and human nutrition, to increase biomass for fodder and groundcover and to enhance the resilience of current farming systems against the negative effects of climate variability and change. Green manures or cover crop were used as the option. The trials were conducted at farms in Chipata and Lundazi districts of the eastern province of Zambia.
The following treatments were used for the trial:

  • Sole cropping maize
  • Maize – Pigeonpea intercropping
  • Maize – Pigeonpea intercropping with 60-day cowpea
  • Maize – Dolichos Lablab intercropping
  • Maize/Gliricidia sepium/pigeonpea intercrop (year 1: groundnuts/Gliricidia; Year 2 soybean/pigeonpea/Gliricidia; year 3 Maize/Pigeonpea/Gliricidia
  • Doubled-Up Legume Systems Under Conservation Agriculture and Conventional Agriculture in Sinda, Chipata, and Lundazi, Zambia

    This study contains data originated from on-farm trials that were conducted to test and demonstrate the crop yield and economic benefits derived from conservation agriculture (CA) systems on smallholder farms where the ridge and furrow tillage system is the traditional practice. The farm trials were conducted at six farms in Chipata, Lundazi, and Sinda districts of the eastern province of Zambia. In each site, the trials were replicated four times and had two general treatment sets:1)conservation agriculture; and 2) Conventional ridge and furrow systems.

    The sub-treatments were:

  • Sole cropping groundnuts
  • Sole cropping pigeonpea
  • Full population of groundnuts + half population of pigeonpea
  • Full population of groundnuts and pigeon
  • The trials were conducted over multiple years:

  • Year 1: Legume phase
  • Year 2: Maize phase + legume phase
  • Year 3: Legume phase + maize phase
  • Conservation Agriculture Mother Trials in Chipata, Lundazi, and Sinda, Zambia

    This study contains data originated from on-farm trials that were conducted to test and demonstrate the crop yield and economic benefits derived from manual and animal traction conservation agriculture (CA) systems on smallholder farms where the ridge and furrow tillage system is the traditional practice. The farm trials were conducted at six farms in Chipata, Lundazi, and Sinda districts of the eastern province of Zambia. In each site, the trials were replicated four times and had two general treatment sets:1) manual CA; and 2) animal traction CA.


    The manual CA system trial consisted of three treatments and these treatments were compared with conventional ridge and furrow practice at each farmer’s field. The four treatments including control were:

  • Conventional ridge and furrow with continuous sole maize (CRF);
  • No-tillage / Dibblestick CA system with continuous sole maize;
  • Dibblestick CA system with maize intercropped with cowpea;
  • Dibblestick CA with maize rotated with legumes

  • The animal traction CA system consisted of two treatments that were compared with a conventional ridge and furrow practice at each farmer’s field. The three treatments including control were:

  • Conventional ridge and furrow with continuous sole maize (CRF);
  • Animal traction (AT) ripline seeding with continuous sole maize;
  • Animal traction (AT) ripline seeding with maize rotated with legumes