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Are conservation agriculture (CA) systems productive and profitable options for smallholder farmers in different agro-ecoregions of Zimbabwe?

by Mupangwa, W; Thierfelder, C; Nyagumbo, I; Mutenje, M.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticlePublisher: United Kingdom : Cambridge University Press, 2017Subject(s): Conservation agriculture -- Zimbabwe | SmallholdersOnline resources: Click here to access online In: Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 2017, vol. 32, no. 1, p. 87–103Summary: Continuous conventional tillage coupled with unsystematic cereal/legume rotations has promoted low crop productivity on smallholder farms. A multi-locational study was established in three agro-ecoregions (AEs) of Zimbabwe. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of four tillage systems (conventional plowing, planting basins, rip-line and animal traction direct seeding systems) on maize (Zea mays L.), cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp] and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] yields, and evaluate the economic performance of the conservation agriculture (CA) systems relative to conventional plowing. Each farmer was a replicate of the trial over the three cropping seasons. In the high (750– 1000 mm per annum) and low (450–650 mm) rainfall AEs, conventional practice and CA systems gave similar maize grain yield. Under medium rainfall conditions (500–800 mm) planting basins, rip-line and direct seeding systems gave 547, 548 and 1690 kg ha−1 more maize yield than the conventional practice. In the high and low rainfall AEs, conventional practice and planting basins had the lowest maize production risk. Cowpea yield was 35 and 45% higher in the rip-line and direct seeding than conventional practice. Soybean yield was higher in rip-line (36%) and direct seeding (51%) systems than conventional practice. Direct seeding system gave the highest net benefits in all AEs. A combination of long-term biophysical and socio-economic assessments of the different cropping systems tested in our study is critical in order to fully understand their performance under different AEs of Zimbabwe.
List(s) this item appears in: CIMMYT-SIP 2016-2017 Peer-reviewed publications list
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Journal article
CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

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Continuous conventional tillage coupled with unsystematic cereal/legume rotations has promoted low crop productivity
on smallholder farms. A multi-locational study was established in three agro-ecoregions (AEs) of Zimbabwe. The aim of
the study was to determine the effect of four tillage systems (conventional plowing, planting basins, rip-line and animal
traction direct seeding systems) on maize (Zea mays L.), cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp] and soybean [Glycine
max (L.) Merrill] yields, and evaluate the economic performance of the conservation agriculture (CA) systems relative
to conventional plowing. Each farmer was a replicate of the trial over the three cropping seasons. In the high (750–
1000 mm per annum) and low (450–650 mm) rainfall AEs, conventional practice and CA systems gave similar maize
grain yield. Under medium rainfall conditions (500–800 mm) planting basins, rip-line and direct seeding systems
gave 547, 548 and 1690 kg ha−1 more maize yield than the conventional practice. In the high and low rainfall AEs, conventional
practice and planting basins had the lowest maize production risk. Cowpea yield was 35 and 45% higher in the
rip-line and direct seeding than conventional practice. Soybean yield was higher in rip-line (36%) and direct seeding
(51%) systems than conventional practice. Direct seeding system gave the highest net benefits in all AEs. A combination
of long-term biophysical and socio-economic assessments of the different cropping systems tested in our study is critical
in order to fully understand their performance under different AEs of Zimbabwe.

Maize CRP FP4 - Alignment with and strengthening maize seed systems for effective product delivery

http://diglib-cc3/Download/cis/57549.pdf

Sustainable Intensification Program

Socioeconomics Program

Text in english

CIMMYT Informa : March 23, 2016.

INT3147

INT3348

INT2939

INT3097

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