Abstract

A velvet

bean-corn system utilized in hillside farming in Waslala,

Nicaragua, was described and analyzed regarding farmer.s

approaches to conservational practices in agriculture. Data

suggested that the fresh biomass yield for velvet bean ranged

from 11.4 to 60 t/ha, while the corn yield varied from 1.1 to

5.4 t/ha. Apparently, the economic efficiency of the velvet

bean-corn system depended on the origin of the velvet bean

seeds and at what level additional labor was employed. Data

indicated that farmers who used own velvet bean seeds

increased their gross income by $185.80/ha. Additionally,

when only family labor was employed, the gross income

increased by $265.11/ha compared to farmers who utilized

hired labor and obtained bean seeds off-farm. Suggestions on

how the described system may be improved regarding its

sustainability are included by the authors.