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Conservation Agriculture (CA) in Southern Africa: Longer term trends in soil quality and crop productivity
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Conservation Agriculture (CA) in Southern Africa: Longer term trends in soil quality and crop productivity

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Presentation at WCCA5 by Christian Thierfelder and Isaiah Nyagumbo …

Presentation at WCCA5 by Christian Thierfelder and Isaiah Nyagumbo

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. Conservation agriculture (CA) in southern Africa: Longer term trends in soil quality and crop productivity By Christian Thierfelder and Isaiah Nyagumbo In collaboration with: Amos Ngwira, Ivy Ligowe, Sebastiao Famba, Ivan Cuvaca, Mwangala Sitali, Tobias Charakupa, Herbert Chipara and Sign Phiri
  • 2. Introduction
    • Unreliable climatic conditions (drought)
    • Challenging soils
    • Increased physical, chemical and biological soil degradation
    • Reliance on maize as staple food crop
    Environmental situation in southern Africa: A possible solution:
    • Sustainable crop intensification through Conservation Agriculture (CA) …….
    … . BUT widespread promotion of CA in southern Africa without scientific base has also provoked a lot of critique!
  • 3. Trial Locations in Southern Africa:
    • Henderson Research Station , Zimbabwe (since 2004/05), 884 mm average rainfall
    • Farmers Training Center, Monze , Zambia (since 2005/06), 748 mm average rainfall
    • Sussundenga Research Station , Chimoio, Mozambique (since 2006/07), 1155 mm average rainfall
    • Chitedze Research Station , Lilongwe, Malawi (since 2007/08), 920 mm average rainfall
  • 4. Treatments to focus on:
  • 5.
    • Magoye ripper
    • Basin planting
    • Fitarelli jab-planter
    • AT Direct seeder
    • Dibble stick
  • 6. Results from the LT trials Three phases of a crop rotation (Maize-Cotton-Sunnhemp) in Monze, Zambia
  • 7. Sussundenga Monze Chitedze Infiltration Henderson
  • 8. Cumulative soil erosion from 2005-2011
  • 9. Soil moisture in 0-60cm, Henderson, Zimbabwe, 2009/2010
  • 10. Soil moisture in 0-60cm, Monze, Zambia, 2009/2010
  • 11. Effect of treatments on soil organic carbon in the CA LT trial in Monze FTC. 0-30 cm, Zambia, October 2005 and 2008.
  • 12. Aggregate stability (%) at Monze FTC, 2009
  • 13. Summary of maize grain yield at Henderson, Zimbabwe, 2005-2011
  • 14. Summary of maize grain yield at Monze FTC, Zambia, 2006-2011
  • 15. Summary of maize grain yield at Sussundenga, Mozambique, 2007-2011
  • 16. Summary of maize grain yield at Chitedze, Malawi, 2007-2011
  • 17. Conclusions
    • CA offers many opportunities for farmers in southern Africa
    • Results from LT trials show:
      • higher infiltration,
      • lower soil erosion,
      • higher soil moisture,
      • Increased carbon and aggregate stability
      • Higher crop performance in the longer term
    • Benefits of CA emerge over time
    • Rotations play a significant role in CA cropping systems
  • 18. Conclusions
    • More socio-economic and biophysical studies are needed to understand and overcome those challenges
    • The CA trials are the only source of scientific longer term data in southern Africa…..
    • … ..they need to be supported (financially) and used effectively (by science)…...!
    • Promoting CA in southern Africa has challenges:
      • Residue retention
      • Rotations
      • Weed control
      • Mindset
  • 19. Thank you very much for your attention! CA long-term trial at the Monze Farmer Training Centre, Zambia