Posts Tagged ‘Conservation Agriculture’

Traditional Chiefs in Eastern Zambia Learn About Sustainable Intensification

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Maize

By Walter Mupangwa and Christian Thierfelder/CIMMYT

The quiet Khokwe village in the Chanje Central Block in Chipata district, Zambia, was buzzing with activity on 2 April when six traditional chiefs visited the Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems for the Eastern Province of Zambia-Africa Rising (SIMLEZA-Africa Rising) project.

Traditional leaders in African societies hold deep-rooted power in the communities, make important decisions on land use and distribution and guide villagers in times of change and uncertainty. Smallholder farmers in the Eastern Province face high labor costs and low labor availability and are confronted with the negative effects of climate variability, which require climateresilient, low-cost alternatives to improve farm productivity. Conservation agriculture (CA)- based management practices, combined with drought-tolerant maize varieties, as suggested by SIMLEZA-Africa Rising, can reduce production costs and improve resource-use efficiency, productivity and profitability. Farmers from communities surrounding Khokwe warmly welcomed the six chiefs drawn from Chewa- and Tumbuka-speaking tribes of eastern Zambia.

Increasing Local Adoption of Conservation Agriculture: New Bulletin Released in Hindi

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Asia, Conservation Agriculture

By H.S. Jat, R.S. Dadarwal, Love K. Singh and J.M. Sutaliya/CIMMYT

The Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI), one of India’s leading agricultural research institutes, has partnered with CIMMYT to develop a technical bulletin in Hindi on conservation agriculture practices as part of the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA).

The bulletin was recently released at the spring farmers’ fair “Rabi Kisan Mela” organized by CSSRI in Karnal, Haryana. The bulletin aims to increase awareness among farmers about sustainable intensification and the latest conservation agriculture technologies. R.S. Paroda, former director general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and chairman of the Haryana Farmers Commission, launched the bulletin at the fair’s inauguration and advised farmers to adopt sustainable agricultural practices to combat shrinking land and declining water resources. He praised the conservation agriculture research-for-development efforts in Haryana by ICAR, CIMMYT, the Department of Agriculture and other institutions and advocated for faster adoption of conservation agriculture to address the emerging challenges of climate change.

Progressive farmers were recognized for using conservation agriculture practices. Photo: CIMMYT

Progressive farmers were recognized for using conservation agriculture practices. Photo: CIMMYT

The fair provided a platform for more than 3,000 farmers from the states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to participate and interact with researchers, extension agents and policymakers on the issues of salt-affected soils management, conservation agriculture, precision agriculture, farm mechanization and options for climate-resilient farming under diverse production systems. During the fair, 25 progressive farmers were congratulated for their efforts. The CIMMYT-Haryana team also used an exhibition to disseminate resource-conserving and climate-smart agricultural technologies.

Afghan Farmers Visit Conservation Agriculture Farm

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Asia, Conservation Agriculture

By Raj Kumar Jat/CIMMYT


Nine Afghan farmers, including four women, recently learned about conservation agriculture in Pusa, Bihar, India.


Their visit to the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) on 18 January focused on advances in conservation agriculture (CA)-based management, improved wheat varieties and climate change variability coping strategies. The visit was part of an agribusiness study tour organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Representatives of the Government of Bihar met with the farmers at BISA-Pusa to hear their reactions to the latest technological developments. The delegation was led by Mohamed Ali and facilitated by Vijay Prakash, project director of the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA), Department of Agriculture, Government of Bihar.

Growing More: Sustainable Intensification in Southern Africa

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Conservation Agriculture

By Christian Thierfelder/CIMMYT


Gently undulating plains and green maize fields dominate the landscape of central Malawi as far as the eye can see. The ridges, furrows and bare soil in between, resulting from traditional land preparation, are common. Heavy rainfalls and accelerated soil erosion turn the Chia Lagoon, connected to Lake Malawi, brown and murky. The continued loss of soil fertility and the need to adapt to climate variability led CIMMYT and its partners to introduce conservation agriculture (CA) in Malawi in 2005.


The “double-up legume system” improves food security in Malawi by increasing yield and farmers’ incomes. Photos: Christian Thierfelder

The “double-up legume system” improves food security in Malawi by increasing yield and farmers’ incomes. Photos: Christian Thierfelder


The Nkhotakota district, where conservation agriculture systems have been widely adopted, shows changes in the landscape, such as residue-covered soil surfaces along the roadsides. Farmers are embracing the new CA concepts and are successfully growing maize directly planted with a pointed stick. CIMMYT and partner organizations including Total LandCare and the Ministry of Agriculture, funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, support these efforts. The impacts of CA in Malawi are obvious. More than 30,000 farmers in the central part of the country have been informed about the practices and now use them on their own fields, which is a direct result of CIMMYT science and the concerted efforts of private, governmental extension and national research organizations.

Innovative Farm Machinery Transforms Agriculture in Bangladesh

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Announcements, Asia, Technology

By Anuradha Dhar/CIMMYT


A new CIMMYT book, Made in Bangladesh: Scale-appropriate machinery for agricultural resource conservation, highlights the innovative machinery that can be used with two-wheeled tractors (2WT) for sustainable farming and gives detailed technical designs to help standardize production quality, making the machines more accessible to farmers.


A local service provider uses a 2WT-based seed drill. (Photo by Color Horizon)

A local service provider uses a 2WT-based seed drill. (Photo by Color Horizon)

Agricultural mechanization in South Asia is helping conserve natural resources, improve productivity and increase profits, but many small-scale farmers have yet to benefit. Factors such as high costs and farmers’ lack of access to credit make the machinery unaffordable for resource-poor farmers. However, Bangladesh leads by example and has been a hotbed of innovation, particularly with the 2WTs that are more appropriate for small-scale farmers than the four-wheel variety. Bangladesh has a strong agricultural tradition – nearly twothirds of its population works in agriculture. It has achieved near self-sufficiency in rice production and has rapidly developed its agricultural sector over the past 20 years, despite being ranked 146th on the global human development index and having roughly half the per capita income of India. Bangladesh’s agriculture sector contributes 19 percent to the country’s gross domestic product. This is the bright side.


Agronomists learn precision-conservation agriculture

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Asia, Conservation Agriculture

By M.L. Jat and Tripti Agarwal /CIMMYT

Wheat agronomists in India learned about precision-conservation agriculture and received the tools to continue their education at a workshop in November.

Nearly 40 participants attended “Precision-Conservation Agriculture for Improving Wheat Productivity in South Asia,” which was organized by CIMMYT, the Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR) and the International Plant Nutrition Institute – South Asia Program (IPNI), with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The workshop was held 26 to 27 November at the DWR in Karnal, India.

Agronomists receive GreenSeeker training at a DWR field. Photo: RK Sharma, DWR

Agronomists receive GreenSeeker training at a DWR field. Photo: RK Sharma, DWR

Attendees represented nine of the All India Coordinated Research Centres on Wheat and Barley Improvement (AICRCW&BI) located in different state agricultural universities as well as CIMMYT, IPNI, three Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institutes, the State Department of Agriculture in Karnal and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK). The goal of the workshop was to train scientists in blending precision and conservation agriculture, an important strategic initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat (WHEAT), said M.L. Jat, senior cropping systems agronomist for CIMMYT.

China: Farmers benefit from knowledge transfer

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Asia, Conservation Agriculture

By Jack McHugh /CIMMYT

A conservation agriculture demonstration site and informal farmer field school opened recently in northern China, raising awareness about useful new technology among farmers and other stakeholders. Organizations in Wuzhong City, Ningxia, – including CIMMYT, the Ningxia Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Ningxia Bei Li Feng Zhongye Seed Company, the Wuzhong City and Litong District Agricultural Technology Promotion Centre, the Qingdao Peanut Machinery Manufacturing Company and the villagers of Litong District – are working together to build an innovation platform (IP). The IP will aim to transfer knowledge and technology to improve agronomic practices of the farmers in the district and beyond. “We hope to develop champion farmers who will share their knowledge with others and thus provide valuable feedback to the community of practice associated with the platform,” said Jack McHugh, a CIMMYT cropping systems agronomist based in China.

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) edits and publishes an internet periodical in blog format entitled “CIMMYT.” The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center is domiciled at Km. 45 Carretera México-Veracruz, Col, el Batán, Texcoco, Estado de México, México, C.P. 56237; phone + 52 (55) 5804-2004; Responsible Editor: Genevieve Renard. Reserved Right for Exclusive Use granted by the Mexican Copyright Office (valid in Mexico) no. 04-2013-091212312700-203. Responsible for updating this blog: Carissa Wodehouse, communications officer, Km. 45 Carretera México -Veracruz, El Batán, Texcoco, Estado de México. C. P. 56150, México. Weekly update. © CIMMYT 2014.

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