Beyond conservation agriculture

Giller Ken E., Andersson Jens A., Corbeels Marc, Kirkegaard John, Mortensen David, Erenstein Olaf C.A., Vanlauwe Bernard. 2015. Beyond conservation agriculture. Frontiers in Plant Science, 6 (870), 14 p.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact Revue en libre accès total
Published version - Anglais
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Quartile : Q1, Sujet : PLANT SCIENCES

Abstract : Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance), soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings, and soil and water conservation led to widespread adoption of CA, particularly on large farms in the Americas and Australia, where farmers harness the tools of modern science: highly-sophisticated machines, potent agrochemicals, and biotechnology. Over the past 10 years CA has been promoted among smallholder farmers in the (sub-) tropics, often with disappointing results. Growing evidence challenges the claims that CA increases crop yields and builds-up soil carbon although increased stability of crop yields in dry climates is evident. Our analyses suggest pragmatic adoption on larger mechanized farms, and limited uptake of CA by smallholder farmers in developing countries. We propose a rigorous, context-sensitive approach based on Systems Agronomy to analyze and explore sustainable intensification options, including the potential of CA. There is an urgent need to move beyond dogma and prescriptive approaches to provide soil and crop management options for farmers to enable the Sustainable Intensification of agriculture. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Petite exploitation agricole, Grande exploitation agricole, Intensification, agriculture alternative, Rotation culturale, Culture sous couvert végétal, Non-travail du sol, Diversification, Politique de développement, Développement agricole, Changement climatique, Érosion, Conservation des sols, Développement durable, Pays en développement

Mots-clés complémentaires : Agriculture de conservation

Classification Agris : E14 - Development economics and policies
E10 - Agricultural economics and policies
F08 - Cropping patterns and systems
F07 - Soil cultivation

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

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Giller Ken E., Wageningen University (NLD)
  • Andersson Jens A., CIMMYT (NLD)
  • Kirkegaard John, CSIRO (AUS)
  • Mortensen David, Pennsylvania State University (USA)
  • Erenstein Olaf C.A., CIMMYT (MEX)
  • Vanlauwe Bernard, IITA (KEN)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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