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Failing to yield? ploughs, conservation agriculture and the problem of agricultural intensification: an example from the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe

By: Baudron, F.
Contributor(s): CORBEELS, M | GILLER, K.E | Andersson, J.A.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticlePublisher: 2012ISSN: 1743-9140 (Revista en electrónico); 0022-0388. In: Journal of Development Studies v. 48, no. 3, p. 393-412Summary: Agricultural intensification, or increasing yield, has been a persistent theme in policy interventions in African smallholder agriculture. This article focuses on two hegemonic policy models of such intensification: (1) the ?Alvord model? of plough-based, integrated crop-livestock farming promoted in colonial Zimbabwe; and (2) minimum-tillage mulch-based, Conservation Agriculture, as currently preached by a wide range of international agricultural research and development agencies. An analysis of smallholder farming practices in Zimbabwe's Zambezi Valley, reveals the limited inherent understanding of farmer practices in these models. It shows why many smallholder farmers in southern Africa are predisposed towards extensification rather than intensification, and suggests that widespread Conservation Agriculture adoption is unlikely.Collection: CIMMYT Staff Publications Collection
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Article CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

CIMMYT Staff Publications Collection CIS-6697 (Browse shelf) Available
Total holds: 0

Peer-review: Yes - Open Access: Yes|http://science.thomsonreuters.com/cgi-bin/jrnlst/jlresults.cgi?PC=MASTER&ISSN=0022-0388

Agricultural intensification, or increasing yield, has been a persistent theme in policy interventions in African smallholder agriculture. This article focuses on two hegemonic policy models of such intensification: (1) the ?Alvord model? of plough-based, integrated crop-livestock farming promoted in colonial Zimbabwe; and (2) minimum-tillage mulch-based, Conservation Agriculture, as currently preached by a wide range of international agricultural research and development agencies. An analysis of smallholder farming practices in Zimbabwe's Zambezi Valley, reveals the limited inherent understanding of farmer practices in these models. It shows why many smallholder farmers in southern Africa are predisposed towards extensification rather than intensification, and suggests that widespread Conservation Agriculture adoption is unlikely.

Conservation Agriculture Program

English

CIMMYT Informa No. 1797

Lucia Segura

INT3245

CIMMYT Staff Publications Collection

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