Conservation agriculture in southern Africa rests on complementary practices

Picture copyright Thierfelder

The principles of conservation agriculture including minimum soil disturbance, crop residue retention and diversification, have been tested in southern Africa since the early 2000s, but proved insufficient when applied alone. Scientists Thierfelder et al. recently reviewed a bunch of complementary practices needed to make conservation agriculture systems more functional. These include appropriate nutrient management, improved stress-tolerant varieties, the judicious use of crop chemicals, the enhanced groundcover, the increased efficiency of planting and mechanization and an enabling political environment.

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