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close this bookAmaranth to Zai Holes, Ideas for Growing Food under Difficult Conditions (ECHO; 1996; 397 pages)
View the documentOther ECHO publications
View the documentAbout this book
View the documentAcknowledgements
close this folder1: Basics of agricultural development
Open this folder and view contentsBackground in agricultural development
close this folderSelecting suitable tropical crops
close this folderTechnical note: selecting the right crop for your location in the tropics or in the subtropics
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentPrincipal factors determining crop potential
View the documentPrediction of suitable crops
View the documentTable I. Ecological or life zones of the tropics, sub tropics, and warm temperate zones
View the documentTable II. Annual crops (or perennial crops grown as annuals) - climatic needs crop : rainfall - temperature - other considerations
View the documentTable IV. Suggested crops for specific climatic zones
View the documentDiscussion
View the documentAppendix I. Maximum ecological amplitudes for some tropical crops
View the documentTechnical note: Comparison charts of tropical crops
View the documentWhat seed would you take to an uninhabited tropical island?
View the documentHow can I garden in the hot humid tropics?
View the documentResource centers for agricultural development
Open this folder and view contents2: Vegetables and small fruits in the tropics
Open this folder and view contents3: Staple crops
Open this folder and view contents4: Multipurpose trees
Open this folder and view contents5: Farming systems and gardening techniques
Open this folder and view contents6: Soil health and plant nutrition
Open this folder and view contents7: Water resources
Open this folder and view contents8: Plant protection and pest control
Open this folder and view contents9: Domestic animals
Open this folder and view contents10: Food science
Open this folder and view contents11: Human health care
Open this folder and view contents12: Seeds and germplasm
Open this folder and view contents13: Energy and technologies
Open this folder and view contents14: From farm to market
Open this folder and view contents15: Training and missionary resources
Open this folder and view contents16: Oils
Open this folder and view contents17: Above-ground (urban) gardens
View the document18: What is ECHO?
View the documentAdditional ECHO publications
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes - issue 52
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes: issue 53
Open this folder and view contents28 additional technical notes about tropical agriculture
Open this folder and view contentsPrinciples of agroforestry
Open this folder and view contentsGood nutrition on the small farm
 
Prediction of suitable crops

Use of Table I and the Appendix.

As a first step in determining whether a particular new crop (old crops are obviously suitable) may be suitable for your region, determine the life zone for the region from annual rainfall and temperature. Determine the normal pH of the soil of the region. Consult Table I and the Appendix.

A second step. Classify your environment in a less formal manner than that of Holdridge. First, classify the environment during the period of maximum rains as follows: cool (C), intermediate (IT), or hot (H). Then consult Table II for annual crops and Table III for perennial crops.

Note in Table II that irrigation changes everything. If temperatures are favorable, all vegetables can be grown in a dry climate where water is added. This is probably true of fruits as well. Note also the other considerations in the case of some of the other crops.

Finally, you can use Table IV if your region falls into one of the following categories: hot humid tropics; tropical monsoon; dry tropics; beach climate; wet, cool highlands; and dry, cool lowlands. Consult the portion of the table which corresponds to your climate and find the grains, legumes, vegetables and other crops most likely to be a success.

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