Farmers in many parts of the world, because of human population growth, have little choice but to crop their land continuously, with scarce resources to replace nutrients withdrawn by each successive crop. Crop residues are often lost as a source of organic matter and mulch, usually through burning or by removal for animal feed or cooking fuel. Especially where nutrient reserves are already low, and topsoil is exposed to erosion, soils lose their capacity to sustain adequate crop yields. Additionally, extreme weather events, adverse changes in climate, human conflict, and sickness can all work against smallholder farmers’ abilities to sustain the productive capacity of their soils. Conservation Agriculture attempts to address these problems.

Conservation agriculture (CA) is a resource-saving land management approach that optimizes and sustains the capacity of soils to produce food. In CA, sustainability is linked to the ecological preservation of agricultural landscapes. This is achieved through 1) minimal soil disturbance, 2) keeping soils covered, and 3) crop diversification. Implementing these three elements requires a combination of practices, for which there are many options. Thinking of CA as an overall system, rather than a fixed set of techniques, gives farmers and practitioners the freedom to evaluate and adopt a set of CA-related practices appropriate to local needs.

Please note that the links listed below may lead to additional resources which have not yet been added to this collection.

 

Click here to access the Conservation Agriculture Interest Group Forum


  1. 2015-04-30 We recently learned of correspondence among several network members on the topic of Conservation Agriculture (CA) in areas of heavy rain. The information seemed potentially helpful for others in ECHO’s network, so we are sharing it here.
  2. 2017-02-08 The session will focus on highlighting and sharing with the participants the lessons learned from implementing two food security programs promoting CA principles in Central Kenya in the last 4-5 years. Even though we are starting to see positive results and identifying future potential of farmers...
  3. This group page exists so that individuals involved in Conservation Agriculture around the world can connect. We encourage you to share the challenges you face in your Conservation Agricultureendeavors, discuss lessons and techniques learned through your experiences, and share your story!
  4. Rating: 5.0 - 1 Vote
    2017-02-07 The desire to transform smallholder farming to feed the increasing hungry people, burgeoning population, and adaptation and mitigation to climate change is high. There is an obvious realization that it is smallholder farming and rain-fed for that matter that holds the promise to feed the hungry...
  5. 2016-03-02 Session: World Renew supports innovative ways to combat climate change. The presentation will dwell on lessons learnt from Conservation Agriculture promotion in pastoralist areas which will encompass adaptation, scaling up and extension methodologies based upon lessons learned from the field....
  6. 2016-11-01 On average, crop yields under DER+ and TER+ increased by 30% and 16%, respectively, as compared to CT. Our study demonstrates that field water conservation tillage practices that incorporate CA principles are effectively increasing green water in the root zone available for crops. RCA systems...
  7. 2016-11-01 The study in Borichaworeda, Sidama Zone, Southern Ethiopia examines socio-economic, householdrelated, technological and institutional factors affecting conservation agriculture in the study area. The overallfinding of the study emphasizes the high importance of economic support in providing...
  8. 2014-10-27
  9. 2017-02-09 Root crops are not often used in conservation agriculture. This session describes their use and best practices. Presenter : Stephen Lutz is Program Consultant for World Renew in Kenya for the past 12 years, and advises three local established church partners throughout Kenya, managing...
  10. Rating: 5.0 - 1 Vote
    2017-02-08 In marginal environments where strong crop-livestock interactions exist, inclusive and equitable access to finance, well-functioning land rental markets, and efficient provision of extension advisory services contribute significantly towards the shift to more sustainable land use management and...
  11. Rating: 5.0 - 1 Vote
    2017-02-08 Cover crops play a key role in sustainable agriculture by providing sustainable sources of nutrients as well as protective soil cover to minimize erosion and reduce moisture stresses. Examples of successful cover cropping systems in East Africa will be illustrated as well as constraints and...
  12. 2015-11-19 This talk will focus on the positive results we have obtained and hope to further achieve by using Conservation Agriculture (CA), as well as the main barriers and challenges faced in implementing CA in differing contexts. We will explore how CA can be scaled-up given the context-specific nature...
  13. 2017-02-08 Cover crops play a key role in sustainable agriculture by providing sustainable sources of nutrients as well as protective soil cover to minimize erosion and reduce moisture stresses. Examples of successful cover cropping systems in East Africa will be illustrated as well as constraints and...
  14. 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...
  15. 2008-10-20 Over 60% of Africans depend on some form of farming for their sustenance and livelihoods. Agriculture remains vital for the continent's development and economic growth. Recent stagnation or decline in farm productivity in many parts of Africa is a major concern. For many communities and...
  16. Rating: 5.0 - 1 Vote
    2016-09-28 Farmers in many parts of the world, because of human population growth, have little choice but to crop their land continuously, with scarce resources to replace nutrients withdrawn by each successive crop. Crop residues are often lost as a source of organic matter and mulch, usually through...
  17. AccessAgriculture Training Video Conservation agriculture is a farming system that conserves, improves, and makes more efficient use of natural resources through integrated management of water, soil, plants or crops. A farmer in Kenya explains how conservation agriculture can benefit many small...
  18. 1998-01-19 Highland agriculture in northern Thailand is undergoing rapid changes, some for better, some for worse. These changes affect the livelihood of highland minority peoples as well as the livelihood of large rural and urban lowland Thai communities. They also affect the ecological balance of the rich...
  19. 1997-12-15 Amazon.com Description Slash/mulch systems, ancient agricultural practices still widely used today, are often overlooked by farmers or mistaken for slash-and-burn systems; however, slash/mulch systems, in which vegetation is cut and mulched on site rather than being discarded or burned, are far...
  20. 2017-04-20 Canadian Foodgrains Bank, in conjunction with its members and their partners around the world, works to end global hunger in part by supporting international programs to meet immediate food needs, reduce malnutrition, and achieve sustainable food security. Our experience to date with Conservation...
  21. 2012-01-01 Dawn Berkelaar, working with Dr. Martin Price and Danny Blank, featured this farming system in EDN 98. At that time, the technique was known as “Farming God’s Way” (FGW). Subsequently, the name was changed to “Foundations for Farming” (FFF); however, it continues to also be promoted as FGW. FGW...
  22. 2014-10-27
  23. 2017-11-14 The presentation will be based on findings of an ex-post evaluation of 10 years of Christian Care’sConservation Agriculture (CA) programming which started in 2006 and ended in 2014 in five districtsof Zimbabwe with funding from the United Church of Canada and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB)....
  24. 2017-11-29 The presentation will be based on findings of an ex-post evaluation of 10 years of Christian Care’sConservation Agriculture (CA) programming which started in 2006 and ended in 2014 in five districtsof Zimbabwe with funding from the United Church of Canada and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB)....
  25. AccessAgriculture Training Video Ploughing breaks the soil and exposes it to erosion by the wind and rain. Sometimes a field can be planted without ploughing it at all, this is called zero or minimum tillage. If you want to break the surface slightly, you can harrow the field before planting it....
  26. Farmers in semi-arid West Africa understand the value of water, how it limits crop production and how essential it is to survival. They must contend with unreliable rainfall, short, unpredictable rainy seasons, and increasingly frequent natural hazards. Moreover, climate change may exacerbate all...
  27. 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...