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Type: Journal article
Title: Global learnings to inform the local adaptation of conservation agriculture in Eastern and Southern Africa
Author: Brown, B.
Llewellyn, R.
Nuberg, I.
Citation: Global Food Security, 2018; 17:213-220
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 2211-9124
Statement of
Brendan Brown, Rick Llewellyn, Ian Nuberg
Abstract: Conservation Agriculture (CA) has been widely promoted as a part of the process of sustainable agricultural intensification in several major grain producing regions but in many developing countries, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, its uptake has been low. Through a broader view of the uptake of CA beyond binary adoption, this review addresses two research questions: (1) how has CA been modified in various regions around the world?; and (2) what processes occurred to enable CA uptake? We compare global learnings with the context in Sub-Saharan Africa to reassess expectations for uptake and leverage points to address limited practice change in African smallholder systems. Our findings indicate that there is limited evidence to suggest that continued use of a ‘complete’ three component version of CA has been widely implemented in any region and so should not be expected to readily occur in the African situation. Likewise, we find that there are multiple processes and developments required beyond acute erosion issues to enable CA uptake, namely: (1) strong perceptions of individual benefit; (2) economic stimulus to enable and motivate investment in CA systems; (3) functional market exchange mechanisms to supply the required resources to implement CA; (4) development of farmer driven organisations to drive local adaptation of CA; and (5) collaboration of farmer organisations with other institutions to create an enabling environment for further CA adaptation. The situation in many countries across eastern and southern Africa is without these required developments to enable CA utilisation. With this in mind, we identify three key learnings from a review of CA in the global context and the implications for Africa: (1) financial stimulation of households will be required to enable African smallholder farmers to transition to market orientation through utilisation of CA components; (2) farmer organisations require further development to enable context specific adaptation of CA which will require strong collaboration with various stakeholders and institutions; and (3) expectations on both the type of, and period for, CA utilisation must be lowered, noting the substantial institutional change required.
Keywords: Conservation agriculture; agricultural transformation; minimum tillage; Africa, sustainable intensification
Rights: © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0030077131
DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.10.002
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications

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