System of Rice Intensification increases output while reducing inputs

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The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is becoming widely adopted in many African and Asian countries because, compared with standard rice management (SRM), it consistently achieves increases in output alongside reductions in inputs of seeds, agrochemicals, water, energy and labour. SRI uses specific crop and water management practices that favour aerobic soil environment, root growth […]

Crop-Livestock Management in Slopeland areas of the Philippines

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In the Philippines, cropland makes up a third of the total land area – nearly 2/3s of the land area is upland and erosion prone. These croplands have been trditionally monocrops of rice, corn, sugarcane and coconut. Approximately 60% of the land is considered eroded and the country continues losing soil at the rate of […]

Sustainable rice-wheat production

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In the 1990’s, the Rice-Wheat Consortium was launched to address a plateau in crop productivity, loss of soil organic matter and receding groundwater tables. Rice-wheat farming systems were developed, planting wheat after rice using a tractor-drawn seed drill to seed directly into unploughed fields with a single pass. Zero tillage wheat permits earlier planting, helps […]

Reducing Soil Erosion through Agroecology: Plan Sierra

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In the central cordillera of the Dominican Republic, Plan Sierra was implemented in order to improve yields and reduce erosion to ensure the self-sufficiency of small scale farmers and sustainability and development of production systems. The system consisted of several farming methods, including soil and water conservation practicing like terracing, alley cropping, and mulching, use […]

Agroforestry Alternatives and Farmer Profitability

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Agroforestry can provide alternatives to slash and burn agriculture at tropical forest margins in subhumid tropical Africa.  The trade-offs between carbon sequestration and farmer profitability may provide additional options to policy makers. Agroforestry practices can sequester 57Mg C per ha, three times that of croplands or grasslands are able to do. Soil nutrient capital is being […]

Promoting Livestock through Natural Resource Management in the Sahel

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In rain-limited regions of Burkina Faso, improved water harvesting and soil erosion control using contour stone bunding is shown to increase grain yields by 41% in low rainfall regions of Burkina Faso. Yield increases in food crops help foodbuying farm households import substitute in food consumption, reduce livestock production, and increase seasonal migration which is […]

Benefits of Diversification Vary with Exposure to Different Climate Risks in Peninsular India

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In three village of peninsular India, exposure to different climate risks is a major determinant in the benefits gained by small scale farmers by diversification strategies. Most farmers are risk averse and diversify their cropping activities, although farm size plays a much greater role in decisions to diversify than risk aversion. Crop diversification was found […]

Cover Crops and Green Manure Boosts Maize Yields

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In Santa Catarina, Brazil, extension service EPAGRI works with more than 38000  farmers to improve soil and water conservation in over 60 micro-watersheds using contour grass barriers, contour ploughing and green manures. Sixty different cover crop species have been tested, including leguminous plants (velvetbean, jackbean, lablab, cowpeas, vetches, crotalarias) and non-legumes (oats, turnips). These are […]

Increasing production with management of organic inputs in Senegal.

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In Senegal, the Rodale institute works with farmers groups to build on traditional knowledge to improve soil quality.  Approaches include integrating livestock and crop rotations into mixed farming systems, water harvesting systems like rock wall contour barriers, trees for windbreaks, and trenches to improve water capacity, and composting.  Through improvements to soil quality and water […]

Increasing Maize Yields with Mucuna Green Manures

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Hundreds of farmers in the north of Honduras are applying velvetbean (Mucuna pruriens) as a source of organic fertilizer.  Application of this method in maize fields has increased crop yields to 3,000kg/ha, more than double the national average. They have also resulted in erosion control and weed suppression, while reducing the costs of land preparation. […]