Click Here for the Food and Agriculture Organization’s explanation of Conservation Agriculture.
Click Here for an explanation by Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Conservation Agriculture verses Conventional Farming in Tanzania.
75 percent of all Tanzanians are involved in farming which provides for approximately 27.7% of Tanzania’s GDP. In Tanzania’s largest region of Lindi, 87 percent of the population is engaged in rain-fed subsistence agriculture. Although farm land is available, the southern coast remains one of the most impoverished areas of Tanzania. Average maize (corn, Tanzania’s main food crop) production in Tanzania is 1.2 tons per hectare from conventional slash/burn/tillage farming methods. This method is destructive to the environment, soil structure, soil moisture barring capacity, soil nutrient barring capacity, air quality and causes severe erosion. Typically after 3 years farmers abandon the unproductive soil and deforest more land to farm on. Conventional farming methods across Tanzania only average about 1.2 tons per hectare (2.47 ac).
Through proper Conservation Agriculture, unproductive soils can be restored in 3 to 4 years, each year increasing significantly in production. Studies have shown these once unproductive farm lands can be restored to produce significant increase in maize (and other) crop yield without irrigation or any mechanized equipment. According to studies by FAO CA SARD (Food and Agriculture Organization – Conservation Agriculture – Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development) Project in 2009 reported farmers yielding as much as 14 or more tons per hectare (2.47 ac). This significant increase in profitability is not even to mention the environmental advantages.