The benefits of conservation agriculture
Ethiopia: Crop rotation, intercropping, and mulching help farmers improve soil fertility and productivity
Two of this week’s Farmer stories—both from Ethiopia—talk about different aspects of conservation agriculture, which is also the topic of our Script of the week.
Conservation agriculture is an approach to farming that aims to produce high yields and reduce production costs, while maintaining and improving soil fertility and conserving water. It’s based on three principles or practices:
- Little or no tillage so that the soil is minimally disturbed.
- Keeping the soil permanently covered.
- Crop rotation and intercropping, also called crop association.
This script focuses on how minimum tillage can benefit farmers and minimize soil erosion. The script is based on actual interviews but takes the form of a discussion between two hosts about minimum tillage. One host raises a number of challenges to adopting minimum tillage and the other host responds to those challenges.
You could use this script as inspiration to research and write a script on a similar topic in your area. Or you might choose to produce this script on your station, using voice actors to represent the speakers.
You could also use this script as research material or as inspiration for creating your own programming on the benefits of practicing conservation agriculture. Talk to farmers, agricultural officers, and other experts. You might ask them:
- What kind of farming problems could conservation agriculture solve in our area?
- How can frequent tilling affect soil quality and structure?
- How can farmers who practice minimum tillage manage weeds and pests?
Apart from speaking directly to farmers and other experts, you could use these questions as the basis for a phone-in or text-in program.
An Amharic version of this script is available at: http://scripts.farmradio.fm/am/radio-resource-packs/110-farm-radio-resource-pack/benefits-of-conservation-agriculture-amharic/