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Failing to yield? ploughs, conservation agriculture and the problem of agricultural intensification: an example from the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe

Author: Baudron, F.
Author: Andersson, J.A.
Author: Corbeels, M.
Author: Giller, K.E.
Year: 2012
Abstract: Agricultural intensification, or increasing yield, has been a persistent theme in policy interventions in African smallholder agriculture. This article focuses on two hegemonic policy models of such intensification: (1) the ?Alvord model? of plough-based, integrated crop-livestock farming promoted in colonial Zimbabwe; and (2) minimum-tillage mulch-based, conservation agriculture, as currently preached by a wide range of international agricultural research and development agencies. An analysis of smallholder farming practices in Zimbabwe's Zambezi Valley, reveals the limited inherent understanding of farmer practices in these models. It shows why many smallholder farmers in southern Africa are predisposed towards extensification rather than intensification, and suggests that widespread conservation agriculture adoption is unlikely.
Language: English
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 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
Country: Zimbabwe
Region: Southern Africa
Pages: 393-412
Journal issue: 3
Journal: Journal of Development Studies
Journal volume: 48
DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2011.587509

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

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