Conservation Agriculture Training Modules
Over the past 2-3 years CFGB staff and partners have been developing and field testing CA training materials designed to be used at the farmer level. We are pleased that the African Conservation Tillage network has agreed to host these materials on their website at http://caguide.act-africa.org/ so that CA promotors around the world can download and use them.
The core CA training materials are available in English, Kiswahili, Amharic, French and Portuguese. Additional training modules on related subjects (e.g. Integrated Soil Fertility Management, Soil Conservation, Integrated Pest Management, Grain Storage, etc.) will also available be available the site, and will be added/updated over time.
Conservation Agriculture (CA) has spread in the past 40 years to cover 105 million hectares of farmland worldwide (ACT 2008). CA’s effectiveness in retaining soil moisture, improving soil quality, lowering input costs and producing stable, high yields of crops leaves little doubt that it will be central to creating food security in a world of increasing population and climate uncertainty.
Unfortunately, however, the adoption of CA among small-scale farmers has lagged far behind that of large-scale mechanized farmers. The challenges hindering the adoption of CA among small-scale farmers include the great diversity of crops and farming approaches that make standardization of CA technologies virtually impossible. Overly rigid extension methods and materials further hinder the spread of CA technologies when they promote a one-size-fits-all approach.
This Conservation Agriculture Facilitator’s Guidebook is designed to address these challenges by building adaptation and diversity into every aspect of its production and dissemination. The materials presented herein are agronomically sound, but simple enough to be understood by farmers with little formal education. By reproducing them in electronic format only, without copyright, we hope that they will be shared widely, customized, and improved by each Project Field Officer that uses them.