An African success: the case of conservation agriculture in Zimbabwe uri icon

abstract

  • This paper highlights the limiting factors of agricultural production in Zimbabwe and presents conservation agriculture (CA) as a potential solution to address many of these challenges. CA, based on the three principles of minimum soil disturbance, crop residue retention and crop rotations, targets low soil fertility, moisture deficits and low management standards through the use of soil-fertility-enhancing technologies (precision fertilizer application, crop rotations, sequencing and interactions), improved moisture use efficiency and higher standards of agronomic management practices. The paper also explains the role of CA in natural resource conservation as increasing productivity will reduce the land under crop production and increase the area under natural vegetation. Trends in the development of CA in the past five years and its current status in the country are explained, with the roles of different stakeholders outlined. Evidence on the impact of CA on both food security and the environment is presented. In conclusion, the paper looks at the various factors that may affect the spread of CA to different agro-ecological zones in the country.

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011