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Enrich Your Soils – Organic Matter Key to Soil
Farmers and industry are invited to come along to a
day of discussion on improving the fertility of soils with an emphasis on
organic matter and soil biota.
Enrich Your Soils – Organic Matter Key to Soil Fertility
Farmers and industry are invited to come along to a day of discussion on improving the fertility of soils with an emphasis on organic matter and soil biota.The Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) is running eight events across the East of the country looking at the importance and benefits of organic matter. Read more...
Agriculture Leaders Announce a Partnership to Promote Conservation Agriculture Adoption
UN highlights role of farming in closing emissions gap
Matt McGrath (BBC News Environment correspondent) reports that the UN says that changing farming practices could play an important role in averting dangerous climate change. In their annual emissions report, they measure the difference between the pledges that countries have made to cut warming gases and the targets required to keep temperatures below 2C. On present trends there is likely to be an annual excess of 8 to 12 giga-tonnes of these gases by 2020. Agriculture, they say, could make a significant difference to the gap, including wider adoption of conservation agriculture.CGIAR Water, Land & Ecosystem Blog Space
Conservation Agriculture cartoon booklet.
This new booklet was edited by
The No-Till Farming Association of Argentina (XXI Congreso AAPRESID) was held from 7 to 9 August in Rosario. Read more. To see the conference on your PC click here or to read an article click here.
Cover crops work. That's the message from the results of a recent study. Last year's drought gutted corn and soybean yields. But that yield hammer was much lighter on those crop acres that were preceded by a cover crop. The study, conducted by the USDA North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC), sought opinions from more than 750 farmers in the Corn Belt on cover crops, how widely they're adopted, their payback and challenges. Read more
Norman Uphoff presents seminar on SRI at TAA-IIED seminar, London 4th July 2013. Click to read the summary
Researchers create online tool to estimate greenhouse gas reductions through Conservation Agriculture. Read more
Up-dated Conservation Agriculture Data Base in AquaStat, FAO The CA land area data base has been updated based on the feedback received from our regular sources of information and has been posted in AquaStat. The latest figures can be seen at the FAO CA-Website at (http://www.fao.org/ag/ca/6c.html).
AFRICAN CONSERVATION TILLAGE NETWORK
Partnering for improved food security, a better environment and regional development
May 2013 – Updates and Hottest Issues
The two weeks training-cum-study tour on Farm Mechanization for African Stakeholders was carried out under the auspices of The Farm Mechanization & Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification (FACASI) project with the objective to identify opportunities to transfer Indian technologies and Indian expertise to Africa.
The delegation comprises participants sampled from private sector players (importers, manufacturers); researchers; academia; and non-governmental organizations – all stakeholders to the FACASI project. These included participants from Ethiopia (4), Kenya (4), Tanzania (4), Zimbabwe (3), Regional (ACT), and the CIMMYT FACASI project Coordinator. Highlights of the trip are:
The Indian Universities have been effectively linking manufacturers, importers and farmers; acting as hubs for technology development.
India has a manufacturers’ association with a political voice which can/does influence policies in favour of the industry.
Developed technologies are effectively extended to farmers through scaling out models including farmers’ cooperatives sometimes specialised in mechanised equipment hire services.
Research focus - to concentrated action centres/zones and areas of excellence such as soil sodicity /salinity - is a key driver to the successful introduction of sustainable agriculture.
Government support to farming is very strong in India. Examples include: free electricity (for pumping irrigation water in the 2 states); VAT exempt on machinery; subsidies on mechanization and irrigation equipment; and government purchase of farmers’ produce at profitable prices.
It is argued that that the Indian Green Revolution took place only in the Punjab and Haryana States! What does Africa have to learn from this knowledge?
ICAR is desirous to further the south-south collaboration for the longer-term mechanization of farming in Africa. The leadership of CIMMYT & ACIAR through FACASI comes at an opportune time.
More info+: Highlights of South-South Trip Report to India; available at: http://act-africa.org/file/20130612_lessons_learnt_facasi_trip_to_india_may_2013.pdf Indian Council for Agricultural Research website: http://www.icar.org.in/en/node/6044
CA-CoP CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE for sustainable production intensification
View all up-dates and alerts for the CA-COP on the FAO website, click here
Alert No. 31 (19 September 2013)
1. Transforming Rural Livelihoods in Africa: How can land and water management contribute to enhanced food security and address climate change adaptation and mitigation? Nakuru, Kenya 20-25 October 2013
The Soil Science Society of East Africa (SSSEA) in collaboration with African Soil Science Society (ASSS) invite participation at a conference intended to critically analyze Land and Water Management (LWM) technologies, innovative products and services; and strategies benefiting small-scale agriculture in Africa. This will be the 6th ASSS Conference. A particular focus of this joint conference deals with the contribution of LWM in the Agricultural Production Value Chains, addressing threats and opportunities associated with climate change, and scaling up of proven technologies for transformational impact on the livelihoods of African small-scale farmers. In addition, land use planning and policy will be addressed during this conference. In line with the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP’s) goal of eliminating hunger and reducing poverty through agriculture, the conference touches on the pillars relating to sustainable land management; market access; increasing food supply and reducing hunger
Transforming Rural Livelihoods in Africa: How can land and water management contribute to enhanced food security and address climate change adaptation and mitigation?
For further information: Barrack Okoba (email@example.com)
Please see the attached for registration,
2. Conservation Agriculture Equipment Manufacturers and Inputs Suppliers Workshop; Diamond Jubilee Hall; Dar-es-Salaam Tanzania; 28-29 November 2013.
"Enhancing Farmers’ access to Conservation Agriculture Equipment Services”
The workshop intends to bring together stakeholders from within the Eastern and Southern Africa countries (Angola, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda) to establish the CA equipment supply chain players, the services they provide, challenges faced and opportunities to unlock them to foster growth in the sector through formation of a CoP. Specific emphasis will be on the CA equipment manufacturers based in the sub-regions.
The workshop objectives include: (i) To facilitate formation and networking of a CoP for CA equipment manufacturers, suppliers and service providers comprising CA equipment manufacturers, repair workshops, importers, hire service providers, and financial institutions from East and Southern Africa; (ii) To guide manufacturers on compliance to the standards, principles and guidelines of clients (with reference to those of FAO) for prequalifying to quality assurance by peers and international tenders; (iii) To develop a practical roadmap for expanding the development, manufacturing, supply, spare and repair servicing of CA equipment and (iv) To Participate and create business opportunities through the Tanzania Trade Fair.
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Africa Congress on Conservation Agriculture (ACCA-1), 18-21 March 2014, Lusaka Zambia. Registration now open
Purpose of the First African Congress for Conservation Agriculture (1st ACCA) is to bring together key CA stakeholders, including farmers and their organizations, from the continent to interact and co-own a permanent CA knowledge and information sharing platform that takes into account the needs of farmers and for increased benefits from CA technologies.
i. Growing more with less – the future of sustainable intensification
ii. Weather proofing agriculture - the adaption of farming practices to address climate variability
iii. Increasing Conservation Agriculture adoption - how innovative technology and approaches can drive greater adoption of conservation systems around the world
For more information: Contact: email@example.com
4. Green Carbon Conference, 1-3 April 2014, Brussels, Belgium
The Conference is jointly organized by the European Conservation Agriculture Federation (ECAF), and the French Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (IAD) and promoted by the Life + AGRICARBON project.
5. 6thWorld Congress of Conservation Agriculture to be held June 22-26, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
The 6thWorld Congress of Conservation Agriculture will be held June 22-26, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Learn more at www.ctic.org/WCCA
The 6th WCCA announces registration is now open at:
Concurrent session tracks will explore the following areas of conservation agriculture:
Track 1: Growing with less – the future of sustainable intensification
Track 2: Weatherproofing agriculture – the adaptation of farming practices to address climate variability
Track 3: Increasing conservation adoption – how innovative technology and approaches can drive greater adoption of conservation systems around the world.
Direct your inquiries to:
Karen A. Scanlon
Conservation Technology Information Center
3495 Kent Avenue, Suite J100
West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA
6. Feeding The Soil or Feeding The Cow. A documentary video about Conservation Agriculture in Africa. Where and how can it work? Produced by Greendocs (www.greendocs.nl). Made by Melchert Meijer zu Schlochtern and Simone de Hek. Commissioned by The African Conservation Tillage Network (ACT).
7. Sustainable soil management is more than what and how crops are grown. By Amir Kassam, Gottlieb Basch, Theodor Friedrich, Francis Shaxson, Tom Goddard, Telmo J. C. Amado, Bill Crabtree, Li Hongwen, Ivo Mello, Michele Pisante, and Saidi Mkomwa. In: Lal, R. and Stewart, B. A. Principles of Sustainable Soil Management in Agroecosystems. 2013. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
8. Weed control in conservation agriculture systems of Zimbabwe: Identifying economical best strategies. By Tarirai Muoni, Leonard Rusinamhodzi, Christian Thierfelder. Crop Protection 53 (2013): 23-28
9. Profitability and opportunity of Conservation Agriculture in acid savannah grasslands of Laos. By Pascal Lienhard, Khamkéo Panyasiri, Sengphanh Sayphoummie, Bounma Leudphanane, Guillaume Lestrelin, Lucien Séguy & Florent Tivet. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 2013. DOI: 10.1080/14735903.2013.806419 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14735903.2013.806419)
10. Soil organic carbon fraction losses upon continuous plow-based tillage and its restoration by diverse biomass-C inputs under no-till in sub-tropical and tropical regions of Brazil. By Florent Tivet, João Carlos de Moraes Sá, Rattan Lal, Paulo Rogério Borszowskei, Clever Briedis, Josiane Bürkner dos Santos, Márcia Freire Machado Sá, Daiani da Cruz Hartman, Guilherme Eurich, Anderson Farias, Serge Bouzinac, Lucien Séguy. Geoderma 209–210 (2013) 214–225.
12. Restoring the soil: A Guide for Using Green Manure/Cover Crops to improve the food security of smallholder farmers. By Roland Bunch. Canadia Foodgrains Bank. Winnipeg, Canada.
14. Partners in Research for Development: The Dryland Agriculture Revolution. Partners Newsletter, Winter 2013. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
15. Advance Course on Conservation Agriculture: Gateway for Productive and Sustainable Cropping Systems. Borlaug Institute for South Asia, Punjab Agricultural University and CIMMYT.
17. ACT Conservation Agriculture News Alert for August 2013 produced by African Conservation Tillage (ACT) Network. Contact Saidi Mkomwa (firstname.lastname@example.org), Executive Secretary, ACT.
19. Up-dating Conservation Agriculture Data Base in AquaStat, FAO
The CA land area data base is updated periodically based on the feedback received from our regular sources of information and is posted in AquaStat. The latest figures can be seen at the FAO CA-Website at (http://www.fao.org/ag/ca/6c.html).
We are updating the CA land area data base displayed in AquaStat (www.fao.org/ag/ca), and are contacting our regular sources of information in the next few weeks. However, anyone else who would like to provide information on the land area under CA systems at the national level would be most welcome.
Ideally, we would appreciate receiving from you the CA area information at the sub-national level (by state, province or region), together with any relevant historical information on adoption (such as when was CA introduced; duration under CA – x ha under 3 yrs, y ha between 3 and 6 yrs, z ha more than 6 yrs), cropping pattern, farm size, agro-ecology, constraints, etc.
For the recording purpose please adhere to the reference quantification of the CA definition on the FAO-CA website (http://www.fao.org/ag/ca/6c.html):
1. Minimum Soil Disturbance: Minimum soil disturbance refers to low disturbance no-tillage and direct seeding. The disturbed area for seeding must be less than 15 cm wide or less than 25% of the cropped area (whichever is lower). There should be no periodic tillage that disturbs a greater area than the aforementioned limits. Area under strip tillage can be included only if the disturbed area is less than the above set limits.
2. Maintenance of organic soil cover: Three categories are distinguished: 30-60%, >60-90% and >90% ground cover, measured immediately after the direct seeding/planting operation. For this data base, area with less than 30% cover is not considered as being under CA.
3. Crop rotation/association: Rotation/association should involve at least 3 different crops. However, repetitive wheat or maize or ricecropping that meets requirements 1 and 2 above is not an exclusion factor for the purpose of this data collection, but rotation/association is recorded where practiced.
We would further like to stress that the database counts actual land area under annual crops with CA (permanent no-till).No-till area by crop will not be recorded to avoid double recording of the same land area.
Area under perennial crop systems including orchards and permanent pastures will be recorded separately. If there is CA land area under perennial crop systemsin the country, please include the information as separate categoriesat the sub-national level (by state, province or region), together with any relevant historical information on adoption (such as when was CA introduced; duration under CA – x ha under 3 yrs, y ha between 3 to 6 yrs, z ha more than 6 yrs), cropping pattern, farm size, agro-ecology, constraints, etc.