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Monday, September 14, 2015

Experts recommend conservation agriculture


Experts have recommended soil management practices such as Conservation Agriculture (CA) to increase productivity based on three principles, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The principles include minimal soil disturbance (reduced tillage), permanent soil cover (mulching) and crop rotation."CA reduces production costs, is friendly to the environment, and helps to maintain high yields," said the executive secretary of the Nairobi-based Africa Conservation Tillage Network, Saidi Mkomwa.

In conventional agriculture, NaijaAgroNet gathered, the practice is to plough the land and loosen the soil before planting. But agricultural experts are warning against the  method, saying that it is not sustainable for the world's burgeoning population -- which the United Nations projects will reach 8.5 billion people by 2030, from 7.3 billion currently -- as it is putting a strain on land resources.

According to experts, when the plough turns the soil, it alters its structure, causing the particles to become loose and weak, and this affects yields. The situation is worsened by the effects of climate change.

Another expert on sustainable management at the New Partnership for Africa's Development, (NEPAD), Rudo Makunike, said: "It is not only an adaptation mechanism for climate change, but it also helps to build resilience in farming systems."

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the impact of climate change affects all sectors of the economy including water, energy, infrastructure, agriculture and food security, as well as tourism. The knock-on effect is lingering poverty on a continent that lags behind in meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Cyriacus  Nnaji/GEE

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Pix:Rudo Makunike,

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