Coffee Board of Kenya Monthly Bulletins April 1938

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1938
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Mr. W.J Poppleton's article on the theory and practice of his box- ridging" system will be read with interest by coffee planters.Given the necessary practical conditions for success it seems that the system has the advantage of conserving more water to each individual coffee tree than would narrow or -broad-base graded terraces. It also at the same time improves the organic matter content of the soil whilst doing the anti-erosion work. In areas of doubtful rainfall, feeding roots of the coffee tree will be concentrated in a moist area of rotting organic matter, perhaps one of the chief advantages of the system. The alternative system is narrow base terracing and manuring "with green manures or boma manure or compost assuming that burying green manures in the ordinary way costs about the same as burying them in ridges, the real saving of cost in the box ridging system is therefore that it does away with narrow-base terracing. Mr. Poppleton puts the initial cost of the latter at Shs. 10/- per acre that is the same as the operative cost of box ridging. I should have thought the saving would have been less as these terraces would be far less frequent than the numerous ridges of the boxes." Again the box ridging is an annual cost whereas, once established, the narrow-base terraces only require maintenance. It is doubtful also whether the additional costs he gives of Shs. 10/- for weeding- and cultivation are a fair extra charge to other methods," as turning in green manures under any system would be equally effective for weeding.
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Bulletin, IV (40), pp. 57-76
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