Conservation agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa

Corbeels Marc, Thierfelder Christian, Rusinamhodzi Léonard. 2015. Conservation agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. In : Conservation agriculture. Farooq Muhammad (ed.), Siddique Kadambot H.M. (ed.). Cham : Springer, pp. 443-476. ISBN 978-3-319-11619-8

Book chapter
[img] Published version - Anglais
Access restricted to CIRAD agents
Use under authorization by the author or CIRAD.

Télécharger (14MB) | Request a copy

Abstract : Specific practices of conservation agriculture (CA) in sub-Saharan Africa are diverse and vary according to local farming conditions. However, despite more than two decades of investment in its development and dissemination, adoption of CA is low. Crop responses to CA are highly variable, and not always positive, which is an important hindrance for adoption, especially for resource-poor farmers who need immediate returns with their investments in CA in order to be able to feed their families. In contrast with commercial farms such as in Brazil, reduced costs with CA on smallholder farms in sub-Saharan Africa are not always observed. Another major challenge with the practice of CA is the use of crop residues for mulching since crop residues are a major source of feed for livestock, especially in semiarid regions, where biomass production is limited and livestock plays a crucial role in farming systems. Studies indicate that the three principles of CA, including mulching, are needed to increase crop yields compared with conventional tillage (CT)-based practices. Among the three principles of CA, mulching is certainly the one that is least observed in past and current cropping practices in Africa. CA has a potential to improve the soil water balance and increase soil fertility, and it is undoubtedly a cropping practice that can result in substantial benefits for certain farmers in Africa. The question is when and how it is the best approach for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. In general, CA is more likely to be attractive for farmers with a strategy of intensification than for farmers who struggle to produce food for their family. The latter too often face multiple constraints that limit the possibilities to engage in technological innovations. Some farmers may not be interested in new technologies because they earn their income from off-farm activities. Good markets of input supply and sale of extra produce are a prerequisite condition for adoption of CA as they are for any other new agricultural technology that aims at intensification. In sub-Saharan Africa, there is certainly a need to better target CA to potential end users and adapt the CA practices to their local circumstances and specific farming contexts. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : agriculture alternative, Système de culture, Paillage, Non-travail du sol, Petite exploitation agricole, Changement technologique, Adoption de l'innovation, Histoire, Rendement des cultures, Propriété physicochimique du sol, Biologie du sol, Protection des plantes, Désherbage, Plante de culture, Résidu de récolte, Utilisation, Analyse économique

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Afrique au sud du Sahara

Mots-clés complémentaires : Agriculture de conservation

Classification Agris : F08 - Cropping patterns and systems
F07 - Soil cultivation
E80 - Home economics and crafts
E14 - Development economics and policies
P34 - Soil biology
P33 - Soil chemistry and physics
A01 - Agriculture - General aspects
E16 - Production economics
H01 - Protection of plants - General aspects

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 1 (2014-2018) - Agriculture écologiquement intensive

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Thierfelder Christian, CIMMYT (ZWE)
  • Rusinamhodzi Léonard, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR AIDA (ZWE)

Autres liens de la publication

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

View Item (staff only) View Item (staff only)

[ Page générée et mise en cache le 2021-03-03 ]