The growing importance of natural resource management in agriculture requires a reversal of current resource degradation in key areas. Climate change is raising temperatures and changing weather patterns in ways that accentuate extremes like flooding and drought. Water resources for irrigated agriculture are becoming scarce. In a positive vein, research increasingly points to the potential for significant productivity gains through improved farming practices.
Conservation agriculture is a set of principles that build on systems agronomy research developed by CIMMYT and partners around the world, particularly on cropping methods that simultaneously boost productivity and reduce resource degradation in cropping systems that include maize or wheat. Through partnerships with national agricultural research systems, agri-business and other CGIAR centers, CIMMYT works toward an ultimate vision of widespread use of sustainable systems by smallholder wheat and maize farmers, based on the principles of conservation agriculture. The goals are to improve rural incomes and livelihoods through sustainable management of agro-ecosystem productivity and diversity while minimizing unfavorable environmental impacts.
Enrique Martínez y Martínez, head of SAGARPA, and Martin Kropff, newly appointed director general at CIMMYT, held a meeting to discuss research and development priorities in the framework of their strategic collaboration.
The controversial debate among researchers about the suitability of conservation agriculture for smallholder farmers in Africa continues while rural inhabitants in Africa face food insecurity and degrading resources. What is the role of CIMMYT’s research on CA in Africa?
As the Conservation Agriculture and Smallholder Farmers in East and Southern Africa (CASFESA) pilot project approaches its end in March 2015, a series of closing workshops has been convened. Here is the Ethiopia chapter, where farmers made their voices heard.
The project developed by the Mexican Secretary of Agriculture (SAGARPA) and CIMMYT provides a framework that can be replicated to take advantage of research and innovation achievements and which secures returns on investments.