Conservation Agriculture: factors and drivers of adoption and scalable innovative practices in Indo-Gangetic plains of India– a review uri icon


  • nventional-till (CT) agriculture is known to be ecologically indiscreet, economically and environmentally unsustainable, and leads to degradation of soil and environment in Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP). Conservation Agriculture (CA) approach was introduced to manage agro-ecosystems for improved and sustained productivity, and increased farmers' profits while maintaining the natural resources. This comprises the management of natural resources at the farm, village, and landscape scales to increase synergies between food production and ecosystem conservation. CA-based rice-wheat (RW) system integrated with mungbean improved the system productivity by similar to 10%, profitability by 20-30% using 15-30% less irrigation water, and 20-25% less energy input compared to conventional RW system in the IGP. However, the replacement of rice with maize improved the productivity by 10-15% and profitability by 40-50% using similar to 70% less irrigation water. CA layered with subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) in CA-based rice/maize systems recorded similar to 5% higher system productivity and saved similar to 50% of irrigation water compared to flood irrigation in CT-based systems. CA-based systems are found more adapted to extreme climatic conditions and can mitigate the negative effects of climatic stresses like terminal heat, water stress and thereby helps in increasing crop yields to the tune of 0.4-0.8 t ha(-1)per season over the conventional system.

publication date

  • 2021
  • 2020