16 March 2008 - ICARDA Experience on Conservation Agriculture : Applications and Lessons Learned


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Raj Gupta
A Presentation for Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID)

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16 March 2008 - ICARDA Experience on Conservation Agriculture : Applications and Lessons Learned

  1. 1. ICARDA Experience on Conservation Agriculture : Applications and Lessons Learned Raj Gupta A Presentation forArab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID) Sunday, March 16, 2008
  2. 2. Characteristic Features of WANA RegionWANA region- total area of ~1,853 million haPopulation- 725 million people, still increasingNearly 52% of the people depend on agricultureNearly 40% of the land, used in agricultureAgriculture contributes around 20% to GDP of the regionLarge acreage of arable drylands- degraded, low crop yieldsFarming systems evolved to cope with natural & economic constraintsLivestock– a major component of the farming system.
  3. 3. Key NRM Constraints• Land (soil & water) degradation Tel Hadya groundwater level (m below ground), 1983-2007 -60.0• Wind and water erosion Jun-83 Nov-85 Apr-88 Sep-90 Mar-93 Aug-95 Jan-98 Jun-00 Nov-02 May-05 Oct-07• Salinization -70.0• Low and declining soil fertility• Water scarcity - competing end-uses, water table declines @ > meter/ year -80.0• Climate change and acute variability -90.0 Need technologies that are -100.0 economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound to improve production and -110.0 productivity. -120.0
  4. 4. ICARDA’s Strategic Vision Employment generation Conservation agriculture / RCTs should be a vital component of Resource Livelihoods conservation the strategy for food security and poverty alleviation, health for all, rural development, enhancing productivity, improve Conservation environmental quality and Agriculture Food / RCT preserve natural resources.security Environmental quality RCTs / CA is also a strategy to mitigate and adapt to climate change Rural Diversification / development Biodiversity
  5. 5. From Issues to Actions Timely crop establishment → Reduce tillage /CA Water scarcity →Improve WP, Conjunctive use Low seed replacement of MV →Seed Villages Dryland degradation →Manage. Practices Low fodder availability →Diversification, New Planters & livestock productivity Improve livelihoods rural livelihoods Innovation systems → Use of Mass media Laser leveled field- uniform application (HRD & Awareness) Technology targeting• Enabling policies an overarching issue
  6. 6. Generic Elements of Conservation Agriculture? • Significant reduction in tillage • Retention of crop residues on soil surface • Reduce compaction, and • Economically feasible, diversified crop rotationsSurface covers: Residues Above elements are not site• Reduce weeds specific, Represent unvarying• Reduce evaporation loss of water objectives that extend CA• Moderate soil temperature• Improve fertility and biological tillage technologies efficiently across production conditions. Thus, conservation agriculture need some paradigm shifts
  7. 7. Zero-till / Reduced-Till acreage in South Asia Zero-Till Wheat 3244 3200 2800 2400Area ( 000 ha) 2000 2104 1600 1200 1100 • Global estimates of CA~ 90 Mha 800 • Nearly 60% wheat and rice- direct 400 371 seeded in Central Asia. 2 5 20 0 130 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2006 World Bank estimated a saving of US$147Million through ZT in 2005 alone in SA
  8. 8. ZT impact scenarios Conservative Optimistic scenario scenario Net present value 26 55 (NPV, Mln. USD, 1994) Benefit/Cost ratio 3.3 6.9 Internal rate of return 31% 46% (IRR)A little longer term investment in FarmerParticipatory Research by USAID stimulatedadoption of CA in South Asia +R -R Source: Olaf Erenstein et al. (2005)
  9. 9. ICARDA Experiences on CA in Dry Areas- (contd.)Surface seeding (W into C and R into W)ZT and Raised-bed planting with Multi-crop seeder/planters – saves seed and improve -NUELaser assisted precision land leveling- saves waterFertilizer management in presence of residues.Technologies for generating additional residues. (conflictfor crop residues: Mulch vs. Livestock) New niches for intensification/ diversification Relay Wheat crop in cotton- Cereal based systems- Agri-horti/ systems- Range landsManagement of saline environments Conjunctive use of low quality waters- Salt leaching, crop productionGIS and Remote Sensing tools- Technology targeting Multicrop planter
  10. 10. Planting Wheat ( surface seeding) into Standing Cotton in Central Asia Countries Wheat Area Wheat planted Percentage of (ha) into standing wheat planted cotton (ha) into standing cotton (%) Tajikistan 320,000 96,000 30% Turkmenistan 900,000 360,000 40% Uzbekistan 1,400,000 840,000 60% Total 2,620,000 1,296,000 49% • No Yield Penalties • Saves USD 23.3 Million annually in fuel @ 18USD/ ha. Labor saving not counted • Gains can be pushed-up further if machinery constraints are relaxed (saves seed, land leveling, band placement of fertilizers) • Benefit-cost ratio ( 2 to 2.97) increased with moisture suppliesSources: FAOSTAT, 2006, Ministries of Agriculture of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
  11. 11. Benefit Cost ratios of Direct Seeding wheat vs Traditional Planting Sub-humid Semi-arid Arid Years Traditional Direct Traditional Direct Traditional Direct 2004-06 Planting Seeding Planting Seeding Planting SeedingAverage 2.03 2.93 1.93 2.50 1.73 2.10 • Benefit-cost ration improve with moisture availabilityKrasniy Vodopad, Kazakhstan 2004- 2007
  12. 12. Traditional Rice Culture: Some shifts • Wet cultivation (puddling) • Transplanting young seedlings • Reduces deep percolation & ground water recharge • Destroys soil structure and create a plow pan layer
  13. 13. New Rice Establishment Methods & Brown Manuring of Rice and WheatUn-Puddled Transplanted Rice DSR rice + Sesbania - Better ground water recharge DSR a common practice in central Asia • Saves nearly 25-40 cm water/ha 1 2Co-cultured- Sesbania + wheat crop Sesbania seeding Brown Manuring DSR •with Controlled Traffic Reduce weed by 50% • No second flush weeds • N saved ~ 15kg/ha • No additional need for waterSesbania after wheat harvest- Mulching & N fixation 5 4 3
  14. 14. Experiences: Precision laser Land leveling• More than 700 laser units in Pakistan, India (with farmers), (100,000ha)• Recently introduced this technology in Central Asia• Provides employment to 4 persons for 130-165 days annually• Saves nearly 20cm-ha water in RW 20.0 w ater savin g , h a_cm s Rice Average Wheat Average which can additionally irrigate 2%area 15 . 0 10 . 0• No weed in first year. 5.0• Better crop establishment & Yields 0.0 1 11 21 31 41 51 61 71• More than 100mm-cut reduce yields Number of Farmers
  15. 15. Experiences: Conjunctive use of multi-quality waters Yield of crops using water of different quality 100 100 100 100 100 93 80 68 70 Yield, % 60 51 47 40 20 0 Seasame Maize Cotton Irrigation with fresh water Conjunctive irrigationGolodnaya steppe, Uzbekistan Irrigation with drainage water• Nearly 32% water used for irrigation, brackish in South Asia• Use of low quality water for salt leaching and meet crop water demands• Use of salt tolerance crops according to their ratings (crops, grasses and tree species)
  16. 16. Experiences: Managing Saline/ Sodic EnvironmentsWheat on raised beds in Sodic lands Wheat planted in furrows & Saline Irrigation• Reclamation of Na or Mg-saturated soils
  17. 17. Additional Fodders for LivestockOngoing Efforts Dual purpose winter / spring wheat: (green fodder/ grain) to meet fodder shortages Green Fodder with ~ 30% Protein: Yields: 5-10t/ha Screening genotypes suited to zero till, raised bed planting, surface seeding and drought and cold tolerance etc.
  18. 18. Fodder Production for Livestock On-going Efforts; New fodder crop introductions Pearl-millet, Green-gram Sorghum, Cowpea,, Maize, Dual purpose wheat, and Cactus etc. Evaluation of grasses and forage legumes Cenchrus ciliaris Agropyron desertorum, Dactylis glomerata, Bromus inermis, Elymus junceus, Festuca arundinacea, Kochia prostrata, Onobrydis viciifolia, Trifolium, Medicago, Alhagi pseudo-alhagi, Avena sativa, Vicia sativa, etc.
  19. 19. Rangeland Management in Dry Areas Rangelands ( Open, Closed and CPR) On-Going Efforts – Integration of tree-crop-livestock systems in watershed approaches (small ruminants and large animal, flock structures, Issues of Rotational grazing systems etc- such as Social consequences, conflicts? Agreements? – Alley cropping technique on CA platforms. Types of Multiple use trees – Rainwater harvesting and conservation in rangelands (e.g. Vallerani, vertical mulches,) - Reseeding techniques and how to populate legumes, P fertilization ?? Range lands good potential for Carbon sequestration
  20. 20. Appropriate Crop Cultivars Weed competitive, stable cultivarsChickpea Cold Screening Nursery • Genotypes- cold and drought tolerance • Bio-fortified- Iron, Zinc etc. • Stable cultivars- also competitive with weeds
  21. 21. Experiences: Alternate Sources of Productivity GrowthSugarcane +Wheat/ Wheat+ Mint Chickpea/ Additional Income of $400/ha RapeseedMaize + Cowpea/ Mungbean
  22. 22. Seed Village experiences Seed SystemsFormal Seed System Informal Seed System Processing & storage Unit Nucleus seed Farmer participatory - 100% Breeder seed Farmer participatoryFoundation seed I&II 75% Certified Seed I&II Farmer participatory 75% Farmers- commercial cultivation
  23. 23. Seed Priming TechnologiesGaucho Treated, Untreated
  24. 24. Land Reclamation and Rehabilitation • Phospho -gypsum Technology • Efficient salt leaching-use of saline water • Micro-catchments- Vallerani in West Asia and North Africa • Integrated watershed management MachineryConservation Measures Manual Alleys
  25. 25. Phyto-remediation of degraded drylands • Cactus restoring degraded rangelands in CWANA • Leafy vegetables – women’s groups reclaiming lateritized soils in SSA • Drip irrigation in Sahel: Date Palm • Dryland saline seeps: Bio-drainage 1 (Tree-grass combinations) Control of saline seeps 4 2 3 (Bio-drainage)
  26. 26. Experiences of CA on sloping landsCA for sloping lands in Central Asia Up-down cultivation with controlled traffic on sloping lands ( <10% slopes) Rationale use of slopes - Low water users on the ridge and others in middle and valleys In situ decomposition of residues in traffic lanes for nutrient recycling and conserve soil Combination of vegetative gully plugs and mechanical measures
  27. 27. Experiences on CA inOn-going Efforts: Agri-horti systems Control of irrigation-induced soil erosion: Portable chutes Tree –crop compatibility (Diversification- New niches)
  28. 28. Socio-economics & Policy Constraints in Adoption of CA• Rigid policies do not allow co-cultures (e.g legumes in cotton or wheat in Central Asia) on RCT platforms• Fields must be plowed before cotton cultivation ( Central Asia)• Zero-till cultivation of may be possible but fear of wind erosion in Badia region, not allowed?• Farmers do not buy new machines without prior experimentation for few crop seasons• Planters not available in sufficient numbers for farmer to experiment
  29. 29. Optical Sensor Technologies670nm red • Plan N management as per crop demands780nm NIR (saves 13-20% fertilizer N) • Provides in-season yield / biomass estimates (INSEY), well before crop harvests • Facilitates early integrated assessments of agronomic/land water interventions on soil quality.
  30. 30. Enabling commonalities for Promoting CA Experiences in WANA: From Central and South Asia RegionsNVRS : Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, YemenWest Asia : Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, PalestineArabian Pen: Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, S.Arabia, UAE, BahrainNorth Africa : Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania NVRS West Asia Arabian North Central South Asia Peninsula Africa AsiaCrops Fruit trees, S millets, Arid Wheat, Cereals Rice, wheat, cotton, wheat, legumes Horticulture Barley, Rice, pulses, rice, Clover, vegetables forages Cotton maize Maize, Pulses Pulses, Hort PulsesClimate/ Mediterranean Hot dry arid Hot dry arid Semiarid Arid to MonsoonalRainfall 50-500 mm 150-450mm <150mm 100- 450mm Semiarid Semi-aridmm 150-450mm 400-750mmSoils/ Alluvial, Loess, sandy Sandy loess Alluvial Alluvial AlluvialProduction •Cereal •Agri-horti- Agri-horti- Cereal Cereal, Cerealsystems •Agro-Pastoral pastoral Pastoral Agro- Agri-horti, systems •Cereals pastoral PastoralIrrigation Canal + GW GW GW GW+ Canal Canal Canal+ GWStrategies I/ SI WH/SI WH/SI I/WH/SI I/SI I( WH Pak)–ImproveWP
  31. 31. Human Resource Development Multi-country Traveling Seminar -Zero-till wheat in controlled traffic plots Tram-lines used for Irrigation & other operations
  32. 32. Initial Successes in the WANA Region• Zero tillage technology: Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Syria, Turkey and Libya• Turkey: CA machinery available in the region, need some changes locally, and farmers to experiment with. Watershed management (Vallerani WA & Vallerani NA) Watershed management, Tunisia Rooftop water harvesting ( Pakistan) Would need some integration in context of CA
  33. 33. Lessons Learnt Green Revolution Technologies CA Technologies• Investments ( irrigation, fertilizer plants, • Investments mainly come from farmers seed and Institutions etc.) came mainly and private sector. from Public sector.• Bypassed the farmers with poor socio- • RCT are scale neutral, flexible and economic endowments and those located ‘divisible’ in applications, serves all in marginal environments production environments• Ag. Machinery was mainly to prepare fine • New prototypes planters/ lasers needed seed beds. in good nos. for farmers to experiment• Excessive tillage lead to decline in soil • Help accumulate carbon stocks, restore carbon stocks soil quality• Increasing fuel prices, eat into farmer • Hike in fuel costs tilt scales / promotes profits CA, Immediately benefits the farmers• Subsidies - on water and fertilizers • ‘Green-box’ support needed urgently for clean agriculture• No big re-orientation in research/ • Need new orientation for teaching, extension system was needed research and extension
  34. 34. Resource Conserving Technologies/ CA• Timely sowing • Better crop stands• Higher yields • Lower costs• Better nutrient and water • Less water pollution, less use efficiency ground water mining• More diverse rotations • Fewer weeds and pests• Less use of fossil fuel • Reduced cost &CO2emission• Prevent residue burning • More C sequestration and better soil health
  35. 35. THANKS
  36. 36. Experiences on Brown Manuring in DSR Rice and Wheat Sesbania seeding Sesbania after wheat harvest - Mulching & N fixation No additional irrigation water needed, ~ 50% less weeds, Supply 15-20Kg N, Controls second flush of weeds