Conservation agriculture and micro-fertiliser
Conservation Agriculture, which has been adopted by thousands of farmers in Zimbabwe as a means to increase their crop production and protect their land from erosion, involves three main principles. Crops are planted with minimum disturbance of the soil, often in planting basins; the soil is covered with crop wastes, cover crops or other organic matter; and crops such as cereals and legumes are grown in rotation. Busani Bafana speaks to Martin Moyo of ICRISAT, a research institute that has been a key player in developing conservation agriculture in Zimbabwe, including the use of fertiliser ‘micro-dosing’, and also to Albert Ncube, a conservation agriculture trainer based in the north west of the country. He finds out more about the technique, the benefits it is giving farmers and the challenges they face in implementing it.
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