Conservation Agriculture: Gateway for Sustainable Intensification of Smallholder Systems – CIMMYT Conservation Agriculture: Gateway for Sustainable Intensification of Smallholder Systems – CIMMYT

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Conservation Agriculture: Gateway for Sustainable Intensification of Smallholder Systems

November 18, 2019 - November 30, 2019


Conservation agriculture practices are gaining increased acceptance across the globe and are considered a harbinger for sustainable intensification of smallholder production systems. Their positive impact on natural resources and resilience to the effects of climate change are widely acknowledged. In the developing world, especially Africa and Asia, conservation agriculture is a relatively new concept and hence capacity development is vital for the adaptation, development and scaling of conservation agriculture-based technologies for impact on smallholder farmers in these regions.

The advanced course on conservation agriculture will offer a unique capacity development opportunity to the scientific community associated with natural resource management research for development (NRMR4D).

This course was initiated in 2010 and this is its 10th edition, which now includes participants from both Asia and North Africa. It is organized by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA), with support from the CGIAR Research Programs on Maize (MAIZE), Wheat (WHEAT) and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The course is organized in close collaboration with national agricultural research systems and partners in the region.

This course links the advances and multidisciplinary approach for sustainable intensification of maize- and wheat-based systems in particular, and cereal- and legume-based systems in general. It will share technologies and strategies for restoration of natural resources and climate-resilient production systems, drawing from the expertise of CIMMYT researchers and partners across Asia, Africa and the Americas.

In view of the high demand, the course has become a regular flagship activity. It benefits selected young researchers from national agricultural research systems, international organizations and NGOs involved in conservation agriculture-based sustainable intensification.

Learning objectives

Active participation in the course will allow the participants to:

  • Develop enhanced understanding of locally adapted conservation agriculture systems, application of new tools and techniques, and scaling of appropriate conservation agriculture machinery for diverse production systems, agro-ecologies and farm typologies.
  • Synthesize and apply the information and knowledge related to conservation agriculture-based sustainable intensification.
  • Acquire skills to plan and manage long-term basic and strategic research trials on conservation agriculture and monitor soil, plant and environmental parameters under contrasting scenarios.
  • Generate scientifically sound hypotheses, data management and synthesis strategies, and summarize them into scientifically sound conclusions to link to knowledge network.
  • Learning farming systems analysis, typologies, innovation system, business models for targeting and scaling for impact.

Contents and methodology

  • Conservation agriculture-based sustainable intensification principles and practices.
  • Remote sensing/GIS/UAVs/modelling approaches.
  • Interaction with farmers, stakeholders of public and private sector, and conservation agriculture machinery manufacturers.
  • Exposure visit to experiment station/research platforms/innovations platforms.
  • Slide presentations, videos, small group discussions, brainstorming and exercises.
  • Individual mentoring and problem-solving approaches.

Eligibility for participation

  • Minimum level of master’s degree in Agricultural Engineering.
  • Women and youth are encouraged to apply.
  • Good proficiency in English to allow full participation in the program and during discussions and interactions.
  • Active involvement in conservation agriculture research for Development (CAR4D).
  • Demonstrated professional experience and leadership potential.
  • Good health, as the course includes hands-on field activities.
  • Health insurance.

Course fee and logistics

Course fee is US$4,300 per participant, which includes:

  • Hotel accommodation and food.
  • Field trips, training material and internet access.
  • Local travel/transportation.
  • Cost of resource persons.

Participants are responsible for their own international travel and the corresponding incidental expenses for to and from New Delhi (India).

Maximum number of participants: 15.

Medium of instruction

This course will be taught in English.

For more information, download the course brochure here



November 18, 2019
November 30, 2019
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Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA)


G2, B Block, National Agricultural Science Centre Complex (NASC), Dev Prakash Shastri Marg
New Delhi, 110012 India
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