Following on from the workshop on “Conservation Agriculture and Its Impact on Water Productivity”, described in our earlier blog post, a series of field visits and workshops were conducted in Shiraz, Gorgan, Tehran, and Qazvin, during 17-25 September 2011. Ken Sayre, CIMMYT-Mexico, gave several presentations, attended by a total of over 900 extension agents, students, farmers, manufacturers, and researchers from national research institutions and universities. M. R. Jalal Kamali, CIMMYT-Iran, also participated in these events, which included extensive question and answer sessions.
The extension of conservation agriculture (CA) within Iran is considered a vital development; changing climates have led to drought, diminished water resources for irrigation, soil degradation, and decreased soil fertility. These factors adversely affect the efficient use of water and other inputs, and have increased the vulnerability of many cropping systems in Iran.
Sayre and Kamali also visited two factories of agricultural machinery and equipment in Karaj and Hamedan. It is hoped that there is potential to manufacture no-till and reduced-till seeders and related implements for the development and implementation of CA within Iran. Given Iran’s plans for large-scale development of CA technologies, Sayre and Kamali also made recommendations to the Iranian authorities for the future extension of CA in Iran.