Conservation agriculture among traditional communities in Chibabava Sofala province, Mozambique with a special reference to land use and food production
This study was on conservation agriculture, an agriculture system that employs a set of techniques that aim to protect the soil from erosion, increase the fertility of soils and its profitability, in a sustainable way contributing to protect the environemnt. This research examined the extent to which conservation agriculture practices can alleviate poverty in Mozambique. The problem was: How Conservation Agriculture help to alleviate poverty? It is a qualitative study that used a case study design and non-probability sampling technique. Data were gathered interviews through interviews, direct observation, focuss group discussions and the analysis of “Caritas” reports. It is a comparative study between conservation agriculture and traditional agriculture methods for the production of maize, sorghum and bean from 1997 to 2012. The research interviewed and observed conservation agriculture farmers (participants) from two rural communities those that practice conservation agriculture and those that practice traditional farming. Data were analyzed through tables and calculations made in accordance with the results presented. Findings indicated an increase in maize production of 477%/ ha/ harvest since 1997 – 2012; an increase in sorghum production of 246%/ ha/ harvest, with an average annual increase of 15%/ ha/ harvest; and an increase in bean production of 183%, with an average annual increase of 11%/ ha/ harvest. Finding also shown that conservation agriculture farmers are able to sell greater quantities of surplus products produced than traditional agriculture farmers who are only able to commercialize a small percentage of their agricultural bean surplus. The study recommends and presents a model of training in AC that must be integrated in the curriculum of secondary school programs, adult education and agricultural schools.