Foreword

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Date
1943/1944
Authors
Edwards,D.C.
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Abstract
During recent years there has been a growing realizati'on amongst British farmers of the importance of ley farming in the agricultural economy of the country. The most ardent and expert advocate of this system is Sir George Stapledon who, by modern scientific methods of plant breeding and selection, has revolutionized the ancient practice of ley farming and demonstrated its great value in modern mixed farming practice. In the mixed farming areas of East Africa the need for leys to alternate with arable land is even greater than in Europe because of the more urgent necessity to devise effective means for conserving our soil and maintaining fertility by natural means rather than by importing manures. In an important article in this number Mr. Edwards reviews various aspects of ley farming in East Africa, describes the type of grass required and gives an account of a selected type of Rhodes grass which promises to be a valuable discovery. The early ley experiments in East Africa were carried out with imported grass species from temperate regions and, as might be expected, were unsuccessful. Mr. Edwards has rightly concentrated on the search for local grasses which would adapt themselves to ley culture. He lays no claim to have made a unique discovery and suggests that efforts should be made to discover other ecotypes adapted to our different climatic zones. There is good evidence that many such variants could be found, given the facilities. The need for such facilities is nowhere greater than in East Africa, where we hope to see proper financial provision made for pasture research after the war.
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East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 9 (IX), p. 61-61