The promise of conservation agriculture

    | August 11, 2014

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    This week’s story from Tanzania talks about conservation agriculture. In 2005, Farm Radio International distributed several scripts on conservation agriculture, including this week’s script of the week.

    Adopting conservation agriculture also means adopting a major shift in mindset. Farmers are unfamiliar with the idea of not tilling the soil. Radio can play a role in addressing this change of mindset by broadcasting information about conservation agriculture. As a broadcaster, you can air programs about the different practices involved in conservation agriculture, and give voice to farmers who practice it and want to share their experiences with listeners.

    Introduce the main ideas of conservation agriculture slowly, providing more details and information with each successive program. Make it clear to listeners that farmers who adopt conservation agriculture will face challenges, as they would with any new practice, but that they already have the tools to solve these problems when they arise.

    Conservation agriculture has been successful in a wide variety of environments and socio-economic circumstances, provided that farmers adapt the principles to their own situations. In places where farmers have been practising conservation agriculture for several seasons or more, many report decreased weed and disease problems, improved soil structure, more stable yields, decreased need for labour, and a more sustainable farming system overall.