Conservation agriculture (CA) in southern Africa: Longer term trends in soil quality and crop productivity By Christian Th...
Introduction <ul><li>Unreliable climatic conditions (drought) </li></ul><ul><li>Challenging soils </li></ul><ul><li>Increa...
Trial Locations in Southern Africa: <ul><li>Henderson Research Station , Zimbabwe (since 2004/05), 884 mm average rainfall...
Treatments to focus on:
<ul><li>Magoye ripper </li></ul><ul><li>Basin planting   </li></ul><ul><li>Fitarelli jab-planter  </li></ul><ul><li>AT Dir...
Results from the LT trials Three phases of a crop rotation (Maize-Cotton-Sunnhemp) in Monze, Zambia
Sussundenga Monze Chitedze Infiltration Henderson
Cumulative soil erosion from 2005-2011
Soil moisture in 0-60cm, Henderson, Zimbabwe, 2009/2010
Soil moisture in 0-60cm, Monze, Zambia, 2009/2010
Effect of treatments on soil organic carbon in the CA LT trial in Monze FTC. 0-30 cm,  Zambia, October 2005 and 2008.
Aggregate stability (%) at Monze FTC, 2009
Summary of maize grain yield at Henderson, Zimbabwe, 2005-2011
Summary of maize grain yield at Monze FTC, Zambia, 2006-2011
Summary of maize grain yield at Sussundenga, Mozambique, 2007-2011
Summary of maize grain yield at Chitedze, Malawi, 2007-2011
Conclusions <ul><li>CA offers many opportunities for farmers in southern Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Results from LT trials s...
Conclusions <ul><li>More socio-economic and biophysical studies are needed to understand and overcome those challenges </l...
Thank you very much for your attention! CA long-term trial at the Monze Farmer Training Centre, Zambia
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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

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

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

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