Tailoring conservation agriculture to the needs of small farmers in developing countries: An analysis of issues

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Taylor & Francis


The defining characteristics of conservation agriculture (CA) are retention of crop residues on the soil surface and minimized soil disturbance. A major barrier to adoption of CA is the extensive prerequisite knowledge required for successful implementation. Other factors inhibiting the spread of CA among small scale farmers are the prevalence of crop-livestock systems, which often depend upon crop residues for animal feed; limited access to markets, capital or credit; and a lack of equipment tailored to the specific needs of small-scale CA. To encourage wider adoption of CA, important foci are building individual and community knowledge about CA and developing farming system practices and equipment especially suited for small-scale farmers.


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Small-scale farming, Conservation agriculture, Agriculture, Farming systems, Local knowledge, Conservation agricultural systems, Small farm characteristics, Soil cover, Crop residues, Smallholder farmers, Field Scale


Journal of Crop Improvement 19(1-2): 137-155