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Improving soil quality and crop productivity through conservation agriculture in Mali, Western Africa
Declines in crop yields (21% for sorghum and millet) and soil fertility (29% for C) have made conservation (CA) a significant management option for selected cropping systems of Mali. Baseline assessments and rapid rural appraisals have indicated that the classical CA components need to be modified, not only to remove permanent soil cover, but also to include capturing rainwater. The improved conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS) account for 40 to 70% running off rainwater and feeding cover crops and crop residues to cattle, which is a key component of local production systems.