Developing conservation agriculture production systems: An analysis of local networks

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Blacksburg, VA: Office of International Research and Development, Virginia Tech

Conservation agriculture (CA) has been trumpeted as the solution for reducing soil degradation and increasing agricultural productivity around the world. Some farmland settings, such as in Brazil and the United States, have established substantial hectarage in conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS) establishment, while other locations, such as in Africa, have little permanent adoption of CA practices. A close review of the literature on adoption of CA technologies indicates that small-scale farmers are unlikely to adopt the practices that mechanized commercial farmers have so readily embraced. Smallholder farmers need additional support to overcome the risks and uncertainties involved in changing agricultural inputs, practices, and knowledge necessary to improve their production systems.

Stakeholders, Training, Conservation agriculture, Social learning, Social capital, Soil management, Soil quality, Institutional capacity building, Local knowledge, Extension service, Adoption of innovations, Knowledge networks, Adaptive management, risk averse agriculture, Extension agents, Crop production, CAPS, frame of reference, local innovation, European Conservation Agriculture Federation, Farm/Enterprise Scale Field Scale
SANREM Working Paper No. 10-09