Conservation farming strategies in East and Southern Africa: Yields and rain water productivity from on-farm action research

dc.contributor.authorRockström, J.en
dc.contributor.authorKaumbutho, P.en
dc.contributor.authorMwalley, J.en
dc.contributor.authorNzabi, A. W.en
dc.contributor.authorTemesgen, M.en
dc.contributor.authorMawenya, L.en
dc.contributor.authorBarron, J.en
dc.contributor.authorMutua, J.en
dc.contributor.authorDamgaard-Larsen, S.en
dc.contributor.departmentSustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (SANREM) Knowledgebaseen
dc.coverage.temporal1999 - 2003en
dc.descriptionMetadata only recorden
dc.description.abstractConservation farming for smallholders has been primarily applied and researched in humid and sub-humid regions, where it has shown significant improvements in agricultural productivity. In these regions, water generally is not a limiting constraint on plant growth and CF methods emphasize no-till or minimal tillage and mulch cover. However, in semi-arid and arid regions, rainfall variability and scarcity are significant constraints to productivity, the potential for attaining substantial mulch coverage is low, and no-tillage contributes to a soil crust that further decreases water infiltration. This study develops a CF approach focused on non-inversion tillage methods, adapted to the needs of arid and semi-arid agriculture. Using a participatory approach with local farmers and extension agents, trials comparing CF and conventional farming, with and without fertilization, were conducted in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Zambia. Neither CF tillage methods nor fertilization alone showed a significant improvement, but CF methods with fertilization improved both yields and water productivity (amount of water required per unit of crop). The improvements of CF over conventional farming methods were especially pronounced in seasons with the lowest rainfall, suggesting that CF could be a valuable water harvesting method in water-scarce regions.en
dc.identifier.citationSoil & Tillage Research 103(1): 23-32en
dc.publisherElsevier B.V.en
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.rights.holderCopyright 2009 Elsevier B.V.en
dc.subjectParticipatory processesen
dc.subjectConservation tillageen
dc.subjectConservation agricultureen
dc.subjectSemiarid zonesen
dc.subjectWater managementen
dc.subjectSurface wateren
dc.subjectArid zonesen
dc.subjectSmall-scale farmingen
dc.subjectRainfed agricultureen
dc.subjectVulnerability and risken
dc.subjectTraditional farmingen
dc.subjectWater useen
dc.subjectConservation farmingen
dc.subjectNon-inversion tillageen
dc.subjectSemi-arid africaen
dc.subjectWater productivityen
dc.subjectOn-farm experimentsen
dc.subjectCrop yieldsen
dc.subjectSoil terracingen
dc.subjectFarm/Enterprise Scale Field Scaleen
dc.titleConservation farming strategies in East and Southern Africa: Yields and rain water productivity from on-farm action researchen