The impact of conservation agriculture on food security in three low veldt districts of Zimbabwe
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The benefits of Conservation Agriculture (CA) are now well-established. The purpose of this study is to determine the impact, in terms of kilocalories and food security, of adapted conservation tillage among farmers in Zimbabwe. These farmers were participating in a program which also allotted them seeds, food aid, access to fertilizers, and tools in order to encourage CA vegetable gardening among those without draught power using Zai holes. Results varied by district, but in general, farmers saw an increase in maize yield and income (measured in food accessibility/kilocalories) independent of rainfall and fertilizer use, though highest yields resulted from fertilizer application, compared to traditional practices. Food security of the farmers--and their consumers in nearby villages--was also significantly improved. This article illustrates the effectiveness of CA with smallholders when adapted to local conditions.