The real adoption of CA in the Lake Alaotra area after 10 years of diffusion. eric penot
THE REAL ADOPTION OFCONSERVATION AGRICULTURE(CA) IN THE LAKE ALAOTRAAREA AFTER 10 YEARS OFDIFFUSIONMADAGASCARE. Penot, CIRAD, UMR innovation/URSIA-SCRIDJoana Fabre, IRC MontpellierR Domas, BRL/Madagascar
Introduction and objective Extension of Conservation Agriculture in Lake Alaotra started slowly in 1998 Large scale development project BV-Lac/AFD, from 2003 to 2013, farming system and watershed approach. The GSDM, regrouping Research and Development CA operators, compile statistics on CA adoption from projects database. These statistics, area and number of adoptants, however, combine different types of activity and systems, which are not all CA activities. A need of a method to correctly assess cropped areas with real CA practices (FAO definition). Clearly identify what is CA and what is not… Objective: to avoid to “mythicize” CA and provide reliable data Implemented within the Pampa project (AFD funding).
Methodology:distinction between real CA croppingpatterns and other cropping systems Identification of what can be considered as a real CA farmer’s plot. On Upland hills = tanety Low land in upland conditions but access to water in dry season = baiboho Lowland rice with Poor Water Management or control PWMLR (RMME in french)
Transect and agro-ecological situationslake Alaotra. BaibohoTanety Poor water management lowland rice fields
challenge of a change in paradigmfor farmers. Definition of CA The approach is based on partnership, farming system analysis, and modelling for a Decision Support Systems (DSS) project orientation. The Madagascar case : the Lake Alaotra case study.
The non CA plots to be removed from thecurrent statisticsOn tanety and baiboho pastures, fodder crops, improved fallow, re-forestation, re-greening with covercrops, cover-crops as preliminary improved fallow (potential CA) first year (Y0) or CA “introductive” year with tillage : the first real year in CA is the year 2 (Y1)On lowlands : poor water control rice systems PWMLR Given the very poor quality data on poor water control rice systems (the 2/3 of rice fields in the lake : 70 000 ha!), we decided that only 10% of the areas currently monitored by the BV-Lac project were under CA (after expert and plot database analysis)
Official CA data2500 Number2000 of farmers1500 Area Surface Number of adopting1000500 0 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10
The cohort analysis Assessment of the abandonment rate, per year, by plot age. According to the cohort analysis of databases, a recount of real CA has been done. Removing all plots in the first year (Y0) and the non CA plots, The method of Cohort analysis reveals the abandon % and the difficulty of a sustainable adoption at a medium term Provide a better assessment of how cropped area under CA was evolving year by year
Rate of abandon according to CA plot age80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%0% Year 0 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Rate of abandonment according to the age of plot
The main results:The real CA area is assessed at 419 ha in 2010 (estimated at 450 ha in 2011)The number of adopting farmers is between 600 and 1000- Abandon rate decrease from 60 % in Y0 to 10 % in Y5 BUT increase the year 6 : some plots are tilled.Our hypothesis:- a poor mulch leading to future weed problem- Soil compaction : do the covercrop plays its role ?
One main reason for adoption: yield stability on mid term Average yields on CA systems with upland rice in 2009/2010 BRL Evolution des rendements en fonction de lancienneté en SCV des parcelles 4500 4000 Yield 3500 Arachide Stylosanthes 3000 Arachide En culture pureRendements (kg / ha) Maïs Dolique 2500 Maïs Mucuna Maïs Niébé Maïs Stylosanthes 2000 Maïs Vigna umbellata Pois de terre Stylosanthes Riz Stylosanthes 1500 Riz En culture pure 1000 500 0 Plot Age 0 1 2 3 4 5 Ancienneté en SCV des parcelles
CA systems evolutionFrom imported biomass based with local Bozaka (Aristida spp) in 2003- to the current systems based on covercrops such as Dolichos, Stylosanthes, Bracharia, Vetch and Crotalaria mainly associated with Rice, Maize, cowpeas and cassava (see poster).Causes of abandon abandon rate is between 40 and 60% after Y0 (opportunistic farmers) with a clear decreasing trend over time (30 to 10 % from Y1 to Y5), Other sources of abandon after Y1; land status for 34 % (share cropping or renting) difficulties to master and develop technically the system occurs for only 22 % lack of cash to invest in the CA system for 15 %
What is an “adopting farmer” The adoption process of CA is slow (between 3 and 6 years) and complex. Requires training, knowledge acquisition, understanding, know-how and then practicesAdopting farmer = more than one plot in Y1 (CA areaincreases in the farm). CA plots from Y1 to Y8
Conclusion The first 3 years of CA implementation (learning, transforming, appropriation and then know-how) are key years in adoption and innovation requiring labor, investment, skills and willingness to move, from a paradigm (tillage), to a new method (no tillage coupled with long term vision and strategy). If intensification with mineral fertilizers generally provides an immediate response, this is not the case with CA practices: profits are not always immediately seen or even recorded
Due to crop rotation, the impact on production stability may only be seen after a minimum of 3 years. Yields do not increase significantly trough CA practices (3 % per year) but intensification do. Y0 and Y1 can be therefore considered as an “experimental phase of CA”, During the following years Y2, Y3 and Y4 and beyond, abandonment decreased drastically.
The difficulty of identifying “opportunistic farmers” withdrawing from the end of the first year is jeopardizing development efforts on CA. CA = a paradigm change in terms of practices AND A move from short term “mining” agriculture to mid term CA strategies Separate as well impact of CA from impact of intensification….
Thanks for your attentionRice and vetch Upland Ricein baiboho after Stylosanthes In tanety