Conservation Agriculture (CA) is a means by which to grow crops in a way that combines environmental stewardship and sustainability in a way that also produces higher yields on a long-term basis. Whilst CA has proven itself in both large and small-scale agriculture, as a knowledge-based tool for agricultural production, it brings significant benefits and improved livelihoods to smallholder farmers and especially those who suffer from labour shortages.
CA involves the application of three main principles:
- Minimal soil disturbance
- Permanent soil cover
- Crop rotations
If these principles are applied in an integrated way according to the surrounding farming system and agroecological environment, it stands to form the basis for Sustainabe Land Management (SLM).
For more information on CA and how it works, see the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO’s) overview at: FAO – Conservation Agriculture