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Beyond conservation agriculture

Author: Giller, K.
Author: Andersson, J.
Author: Corbeels, M.
Author: Kirkegaard, J.
Author: Mortensen, D.
Author: Erenstein, O.
Author: Vanlauwe, B.
Year: 2015
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10883/16791
Abstract: Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance), soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings, and soil and water conservation led to widespread adoption of CA, particularly on large farms in the Americas and Australia, where farmers harness the tools of modern science: highly-sophisticated machines, potent agrochemicals, and biotechnology. Over the past 10 years CA has been promoted among smallholder farmers in the (sub-) tropics, often with disappointing results. Growing evidence challenges the claims that CA increases crop yields and builds-up soil carbon although increased stability of crop yields in dry climates is evident. Our analyses suggest pragmatic adoption on larger mechanized farms, and limited uptake of CA by smallholder farmers in developing countries. We propose a rigorous, context-sensitive approach based on Systems Agronomy to analyze and explore sustainable intensification options, including the potential of CA. There is an urgent need to move beyond dogma and prescriptive approaches to provide soil and crop management options for farmers to enable the Sustainable Intensification of agriculture.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Place of Publication: Switzerland
Issue: 870
Volume: 6
DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00870
Keywords: Sustainable Intensification
Keywords: Soil Erosion
Keywords: Mulch
Keywords: Systems Agronomy
Country of Focus: AMERICA
Country of Focus: AUSTRALIA
Agrovoc: SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
Agrovoc: YIELD INCREASES
Agrovoc: EROSION
Agrovoc: MULCHES
Agrovoc: LEGUMES
Agrovoc: AGRONOMY
Agrovoc: CLIMATE-SMART AGRICULTURE
Journal: Frontiers in Plant Science


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  • Sustainable Intensification
    Sustainable intensification agriculture including topics on cropping systems, agronomy, soil, mechanization, precision agriculture, etc.

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