The aim of conservation farming is to increase profitability in a way that leads to sustainable development. Conventional farming methods in Africa have left soil depleted with lower yields, and at the same time it is feared that climate change is going to reduce food production still further.
To achieve this they advocate
- using hand operated jab-planters rather like tall dibbers, or Magoye Ripper, a plough which creates a very narrow furrow, or digging a basin round plants to collect rainwater.
- careful timing of planting after the first rains and not immediately they start.
- ground cover to preserve moisture and mulch to enrich the soil and discourage weeds, rather than burning off.
- rotation of crops and inter-planting to increase soil fertility and discourage pests.
There is further information in two IRIN reports: