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  • IIIrd World Congress on Conservation Agriculture

Localisation

  • Nairobi Kenya du 3 au 7 octobre 2005

Nairobi-2005

Le IIIe Congrès a été organisé conjointement par African Conservation Tillage (ACT), le Ministère de l'Agriculture du Kenya et Kenya Conservation Tillage Initiative (KCTI) en association avec New Parnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

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application/pdf [151,01 kB] - 28/10/2005   four-years of experimentation on cotton under mulch by north cameroonian farmers

[ Résumé ]

Direct seeding Mulch based Cropping systems (DMC) under Eau Sol Arbre (ESA) project Since 1994 Sodecoton, through the DPGT and ESA projects, has popularised several techniques for soil fertility maintenance on over 150 000 ha in the north of Cameroon (Sadou et al, 2005): This include anti-erosion management (weeded bands, stone lines and reach,....), leguminous trees planting and preservation in cultivated fields (preservation of Acacia albida tree), promotion of organic manure. In addition to these large scale extension actions, conservation agriculture (CA) was experimented through cropping systems improvement approach developed by CIRAD, based on DMC (Direct seeding - Mulchbased - Cropping systems) practices. From 2001 to 2005, DMC techniques were designed and tested by more than 70 farmers in their fields in North and Far North provinces of Cameroon.

application/pdf [166,15 kB] - 28/10/2005   Four-years of experimentation on cotton under mulch by north cameroonian farmers
application/pdf [133,30 kB] - 27/10/2005   The use of Cynodon dactylon as soil cover for direct seeding in Madagascar

[ Résumé ]

Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) is known as a very invasive weed, difficult to get rid of. All over the world, practices have been developed to try to eradicate this widely spread and common weed (Burton and Hanna, 1984). They are often based on intense land preparation with several ploughings and important work for removing the rhizomes and weeding. However, Cynodon dactylon is a good forage and has several properties of a good cover crop: growing on poor soil, rapidly covering the soil and thus preventing erosion, having a deep and dense rooting system (improving soil structure, recycling nutrients), suppressing most other weeds, etc. Trying to get benefit from these qualities, TAFA and CIRAD have developed with farmers techniques of direct seeding, using Cynodon dactylon as a soil cover.

application/pdf [30,26 kB] - 25/10/2005   An approach for creation, training and extension of systems based on direct seeding on permanent soil cover in Madagascar

[ Résumé ]

Experiments conducted in the 1990's in various ecological zones of Madagascar allowed to propose a large range of cropping systems based on direct seeding on permanent soil cover (DSPSC). To propose solutions and face the many constraints of Malagasy farmers, a unique set of references was developed, for various agro-ecological and socio-economic conditions, with different levels of intensification and risk (Séguy, 2005). However, although the proposed systems had demonstrated their high agronomic, environmental and economic performances, and proved to be sustainable, their extension remained limited until the beginning of the 21st century. Main reasons identified to explain this situation, apart from the limited financial resources consecrated to this task, were the very limited human resources and the lack of an approach for extension of knowledge intensive systems, in a difficult environment: subsistence agriculture, smallholders with limited investment means, degraded soils, poor infrastructures, etc. (GSDM, 2004)

application/pdf [149,28 kB] - 23/10/2005   Conception de systèmes de culture sur couverture végétale permanente avec un minimum d'intrants sur les hautes-terres Malgaches

[ Résumé ]

Sur les Hautes-Terres de Madagascar, l'augmentation de la pression démographique et la saturation des bas-fonds rizicoles entraînent une surexploitation des collines aux sols fragiles. Les techniques de culture traditionnelle, telles que le labour manuel, conduisent à une érosion intense, à une baisse de la fertilité et des rendements, qui condamnent à terme cette agriculture de subsistance. Pour surmonter ces problèmes des expérimentations en semis direct sur couverture permanente (S.C.V.) ont été conduits depuis plus de 10 ans par TAFA et le CIRAD, couvrant les diverses situations de la région. Après maïtrise de la reproductibilité des systèmes face à une variabilité climatique suffisante, ils sont diffusés au niveau des terroirs villageois afin de les intégrer aux règles de gestion communautaire, d'élaborer un référentiel technico-économique et de former les partenaires pour leur diffusion.

application/pdf [33,98 kB] - 16/10/2005   The use of Cynodon Dactylon as soil cover for direct seeding in Madagascar

[ Résumé ]

Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) is known as a very invasive weed, difficult to get rid of. All over the world, practices have been developed to try to eradicate this widely spread and common weed (Burton and Hanna, 1984). They are often based on intense land preparation with several ploughings, especially at the beginning of the dry season, and important work for removing the rhizomes and weeding during the cultivation period. However, Cynodon dactylon is a good forage, widely used by farmers to feed their animals. But it also has several properties of a good cover crop: growing on poor soil, rapidly covering the soil and thus preventing erosion, having a deep and dense rooting system (improving soil structure, recycling nutrients), suppressing most other weeds, etc. Trying to get benefit from these qualities instead of fighting against this «weed», TAFA (Tany sy Fampandrosoana) and CIRAD (Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement), with farmers, have developed techniques of direct seeding, using Cynodon dactylon as a soil cover, in various agro-ecological areas of Madagascar.

application/pdf [164,21 kB] - 11/10/2005   L'écobuage: une pratique à faible coût pour restaurer rapidement la fertilité du sol et augmenter la production

[ Résumé ]

En Afrique, le prix élevé des engrais, ou leur indisponibilité, empêche les agriculteurs aux faibles ressources d'intensifier les cultures sur les sols dégradés, peu fertiles. Sur les Hautes-Terres malgaches, la saturation des bas fonds rizicoles et la forte pression démographique accélèrent la mise en culture des collines aux sols essentiellement ferrallitiques, pauvres et fragiles. De plus, sous l'effet des basses températures, la matière organique évolue lentement et piège des éléments utiles pour les plantes (Chabanne et al., 1996). Le sol soumis aux feux de brousse et aux labours successifs, subit une érosion qui ensable les rizières et détruit les aménagements. Face à ces contraintes, l'écobuage associé au Semis Direct sur Couverture Végétale Permanente (S.C.V.) a été expérimenté afin d'améliorer durablement la productivité avec un minimum d'intrants.

application/pdf [77,14 kB] - 10/10/2005   Impact of technologies and market access on natural resources and farming systems Southern Xayaburi province, Lao PDR

[ Résumé ]

Traditional farming systems have drastically changed over the last fifteen years in southern Xayabury province through considerable agricultural development based on rainfed cash crops production such as maize, rice-bean (Vigna umbellata), peanut, Job's tears (Coîx lacryma), black cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) and sesame. This development depends mainly on local market accessibility, transfer of technologies from Thailand and financial capacities of local traders (inputs, heavy mechanization and technical skills from Thailand).

application/msword [30,00 kB] - 10/10/2005   Speech By His Excellency The Ambassador Of France To Kenya on the occasion of the Third World Congress On Conservation Agriculture Nairobi Monday 3 October, 2005
application/pdf [588,38 kB] - 06/10/2005   Réduction du ruissellement en semis direct sur couverture végétale : quel intérêt hydrique pour les cultures sur les Hautes terres de Madagascar ?
application/pdf [71,54 kB] - 03/10/2005   Une approche socio-éco-territoriale en appui à la diffusion des techniques agroécologiques au Lac Alaotra, Madagascar

[ Résumé ]

A Madagascar, la saturation et la stagnation de la productivité des zones irriguées conduisent à une mise en culture de plus en plus fréquente et importante des bassins versants. Cependant l'érosion et le ruissellement peuvent engendrer la dégradation de ces sols fragiles et causer des dégâts sur les infrastructures et les rendements en aval. Le développement de solutions adaptées aux conditions locales qui soient économiquement rentables et facilement applicables, tout en préservant l'environnement, est un enjeu capital pour le pays. Les techniques agro-écologiques de « semis direct sur couverture végétale permanente » ou SCV peuvent relever ce défi. La région du Lac Alaotra a connu ces dernières campagnes le plus fort niveau de diffusion des techniques agro-écologiques dans le pays. Plus encore que le nombre d'adoptants ou la superficie concernée, la taille croissante des parcelles en SCV au sein des exploitations attestent d'un impact significatif en termes économiques (augmentation de la productivité, intégration au marché, accroissement des revenus). Plusieurs raisons peuvent expliquer cette évolution locale. Tout d'abord les résultats d'une recherche-développement performante, une large gamme de systèmes de culture adaptables aux diverses conditions agro-écologiques et catégories d'agriculteurs ayant été mis au point par l'ONG TAFA. Ensuite le rôle important que joue le soutien d'un projet d'aménagement et de développement local, le projet BVAlaotra. Son originalité est d'adopter une démarche globale et intégrée à dominante socio-éco-territoriale qui apporte des réponses sur mesure au système de contraintes auquel font face les paysans et exerce un effet de levier sur l'adoption.

application/pdf [124,09 kB] - 02/10/2005   Impact of a DMC rainfed rice-based system on soil pest and Striga infestation and damage in Madagascar

[ Résumé ]

Direct seeding, Mulch-based, Conservation agriculture (DMC) systems are being extended in Madagascar in view of reducing erosion and loss of fertility of hill slope soils observed in conventional rainfed systems. However, little is known on their effects on infestation and damage to crops (particularly rice) by soil insect pests and Striga. While in the regions around Lake Alaotra and Manakara, dramatic damage by black beetles (Heteronychus spp.: Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae) was observed on rice cropped on mulch (Charpentier et al., 2001), attacks by these pests were reduced after a few years of DMC management in the Highlands of the Vakinankaratra region (Michellon et al, 2001). On the other hand, in the Middle-West of Vakinankaratra, where Striga asiatica (Scrophulariaceae) has become a major constraint to staple cereal crop cultivation in rainfed systems (Andrianaivo et al, 1998), infestation of rice and maize by this parasite was drastically reduced after just one year of DMC management based on dead or live mulches, compared to the traditional plough-based system (Michellon et al, 2005). The objective of the studies presented was to elucidate the factors accountable for reduction in infestation and damage by soil insect pests and Striga in DMC rainfed rice/soybean-based systems, with particular emphasis on its effect on natural enemies of pests.

application/pdf [144,80 kB] - 14/09/2005   Direct Seeding Mulch-Based Cropping Systems - A Holistic Research Approach implemented in Northern Laos

[ Résumé ]

Farming systems throughout the Lao PDR have changed drastically over the last 15 years due to a range of factors. In some areas where market forces are prevalent, shifting cultivation systems have given way to more conventional high-input agricultural systems. In other more remote areas, the traditional swidden system with long rotations has been put under pressure primarily due to modification of land access and increasing population pressure. In southern Xayabury in the Mekong corridor, where there is access to the Thai market, land preparation has become based on burning residues and ploughing on steep slopes. Because of the environmental and financial costs of land preparation, farmers are shifting to herbicides, which lead to chemical pollution, while crop residues and weed mulch are usually burned, thereby increasing mineral losses and erosion on bare soil. In mountainous areas such as Xieng Khouang Province, the rationale of shifting cultivation is collapsing as farmers use land for longer periods of cropping and return more frequently to each field. A holistic research approach has been implemented in Xayabury and Xieng Khouang to find direct seeding mulch-based cropping (DMC) systems that are compatible with farmers' strategies and which can be reproduced inexpensively on a large scale. The methodological framework, based on five main components, emphasises the process of adaptation and validation by farmer groups, meaning that priorities are defined by smallholders in light of the constraints of their farming systems and the overall environmental conditions.

application/pdf [150,66 kB] - 13/09/2005   A Four-year timeframe to develop and begin extension of direct seeding mulchbased cropping systems, in the cotton belt of North Cameroon.
application/pdf [202,57 kB] - 10/09/2005   Labour biologique contre labour mécanique : comparaison de leurs effets sur la structure du sol au Nord Cameroun

[ Résumé ]

The present study was carried out in the cotton belt in the Far-North Province of Cameroon. It has been focused on the physical properties of soils under mulch-based cropping systems. The experimental design was drawn from one on Direct seeding Mulch-based Cropping system (DMC) trial location under a controlled conditions in the region of Kaéle (700-800 mm mean annual rainfall), and where a network of 20 farmers is carrying out on-farm trials in the region of Maroua (800 mm mean annual rainfall),. Plots under mulch-based cropping systems established 2, 3 or 4 years ago were compared against farmers' traditional plots under direct seeding without mulch or with tillage practice. These plots were cropped with sorghum or cotton. Using the gravimetric method it has been shown that the apparent density of soils on the upper horizons under DMC was lower compared to soils from the farmers' traditional cropping systems. Bulk density values lie between 1.2 g/cm3 to 1.5 g/cm3 against 1.6 g/cm3 to 1.7 g/cm3 for farmers' traditional control plots. These results are due to an increase in soil porosity induced probably by a higher soil biological activity. A better water infiltration was also obtained under DMC against the farmers' traditional systems. These mean infiltration values were obtained using the double ring and «Beer can» methods, and lie between 0.9 to 5 mm min-1 for the mulch-based system against 0.6 to 1 mm min-1 for the farmers' traditional systems. This study shows that after a period of less than 3 years under DMC an improvement of the physical properties of the soil was clearly obtained, notably soil porosity and consequently soil water dynamics. This improvement affects the soil water availability and therefore water supply to the crops.

application/pdf [280,24 kB] - 10/09/2005   Four-year experimentation on cereals under direct seeding mulch-based cropping system (DMC) by north Cameroonian farmers

[ Résumé ]

About 250 farmers have tried comparing cereal cultivation under direct seeding mulch-based cropping systems (DMC) against the traditional cropping practices from year 2001 to 2004. The on-farm tested systems include mixed cropping of a cereal (maize, sorghum, millet) and a cover crop (mucuna, brachiaria, crotalaria, cowpea, dolichos). These mixed cropping practices are done for the following objectives: 1) Produce aboveground biomass to build-up mulch for the following season's crop (mainly cotton). 2) Soil improvement through the physical and chemical (produce N) contribution of the associated plants. 3) Forage production. 4) Weed control. 5) Protect the soil surface against erosion and rain impact. 6) Produce consumable grains for man and animals. Up till present the tested plants meet the above objectives differentially and are adapted to the local agro climatic conditions of North Cameroon (rainfall from 700 to 1200 mm). Thus Brachiaria ruzisiensis produces aboveground biomass in quantities (4-5 t/ha even under mixed cropping) and quality (persisting as mulch for over one year after production). Further, it is very efficient in controlling Striga and is a good forage crop. However, it can impoverish the soils if its biomass is exported several times without any fertiliser supplements since it is not a nitrogen fixing plant. On the contrary Crotalaria retusa is a nitrogen fixing plant and therefore enriching the soils. This plant is less palatable to animals and therefore advantageous to farmers who cannot protect their farmland from pasturing animals in the dry season. It is equally very efficient in controlling weeds. Four years of experimentation has enabled us to produce practical recommendations in mixed cropping on the following : sowing date, crop type, tolerance to herbicides, competition with cereals, etc. This experimentation has also enabled us to see how the various plants tie with the above-mentioned objectives. On-going research work is on the following: 1) Diversifying the range of plant material available, focusing on local varieties. 2) Extending these cropping techniques to cover vertisols covering tens of thousands of hectares in North Cameroon. 3) Introducing these plants at the beginning and at the end of the cycle of the main crop in order to better use early and the late rains.

application/pdf [106,33 kB] - 09/09/2005   Natural resources and land-use management: conditions for the adoption of mulch-based cropping system by migrant farmers in the Benoué river basin (North Cameroon)

[ Résumé ]

Economic growth in North Cameroon is based on agriculture relying mainly on the cotton crop. Confronted with the short-comings agricultural intensification model developed 30 years ago which rely on the use of mineral fertiliser and draught animals and the integration of animal and crop production; SODECOTON in collaboration with CIRAD and IRAD are working towards developing Direct seeding Mulch-based Cropping systems (DMC) for the cotton crop and related crops in rotation. Adoption of these systems by farmers is being met with certain difficulties, notably those related with work organisation within the farm holding, poor land tenure regime, rational use of plant biomass between animal feed and soil mulch. Some of these constraints cannot be analysed only at the level of the cropping system nor at that of the farm holdings, since the rules of decision-making do not depend entirely on the farm family head. This work describes the present state of natural resource and land use management at different levels, by grazers and farmers of two village communities and their environs. At the level of farm holdings a structural type-description was done in order to bring out the various strengths and weaknesses in the adoption of DMCfrom the standpoint of the different farmers. Visit of on-farm experimental fields and plots were organised for farmers and grazers. These visits provided a forum for debate in which the system's weaknesses were corrected so as to render the mulchbased cropping system compatible with grazer practices, fodder-biomass and landed-property management.

application/pdf [153,91 kB] - 07/09/2005   Example of an Iterative Approach Conducted with Smallholders in Northern Laos for the Adoption of Direct Seeding Mulch-Based Cropping Systems

[ Résumé ]

Since the 1990s, in the southern districts of Xayabury province in the Mekong corridor, traditional farming systems have changed through extensive agricultural development based on cash-crop production. This development, by way of intensification, depends on local market accessibility, transfer of technologies from Thailand and the financial capacities of local enterprises. Thai Inputs, heavy mechanisation and technical skills are imported and cropping is largely opportunistic, following Thai market demand. Land preparation, based on burning residues and ploughing on steep slopes, has allowed for cultivation of large upland areas. As a result of this development, combined with land allocation and increasing population density, fallow periods are disappearing. Furthermore, this resource-mining' generates land erosion, fertility loss, yield decline and chemical pollution as well as destruction of roads and paddy fields. In light of this, the Lao National Programme of Agroecology has implemented a holistic research approach in order to propose various systems for integrating crops and livestock production to farmers. From a large range of technologies that were tested, maize production using direct seeded grain on former crop residues under no-tillage systems has been implemented. Results achieved under the various conditions are presented in this paper: the yields obtained are close to and sometimes even higher than those obtained in conventional systems. Labour, costs, soil erosion, net income and labour productivity are also all observed.

application/pdf [33,28 kB] - 24/08/2003   Factors affecting cotton seedling in mulch-based cropping systems in North Cameroon

[ Résumé ]

In mulch-based cropping systems, soil cover harbours a lot of organisms that may improve soil fertility but may also affect crop health. In the cotton systems of Cameroon, some millipedes (Diplopoda: Julidae) could become important pests by provoking important seedling damages. This study assesses the influence of mulch on the stand and health of cotton seedlings, as well as diagnoses emergence constraints. Two different assays were carried out during the growing season, one withCalopogonium mucunoides (2001) and the other withBrachiaria ruzisiensis (2002), both as cover crop mulches. The two studied factors were (1) presence or absence of mulch and (2) seed protection (insecticide and/or fungicide). Cotton seeding in non tilled soil showed that seedling stand was globally inferior under mulch compared to nude soil. In the supposed absence of soil structure or texture differences, this constraint seemed to come from exacerbated pressure of soil pests, for which mulch provides favourable habitat. With equivalent insecticide protection, seedling stand resulted significantly greater on nude soil, with less visible symptoms of attacks. On the other hand, mulch provided better growth of seedlings, associated with greater aphid infestation but balanced by seeding precocity that permits escape from delayed arrival of aphids. The major risk associated with seedling in mulch-based cotton is soil pests, whose species impact should be assessed to define sustainable control strategy based on the preservation of beneficial soil macrofauna.

application/pdf [51,42 kB] - 24/08/2003   Macrofauna pattern in conventional and direct seeding mulch-based cropping systems in North Cameroon

[ Résumé ]

Within the framework of adopting direct seeding mulch-based cropping systems (DMC) in cotton farming systems in North Cameroon, we compared the macrofauna patterns from four soil management techniques: (1) non tilled soil covered with the graminousceaeBrachiaria ruzisiensis , (2) non tilled soil covered with leguminous plants,Crotalaria retusa orMucuna pruriens , (3) non tilled soil and (4) conventional tilled soil. In both study sites, micro-plots had been subjected to the same farming systems for the past 3 years. Sampling of organisms was carried out from soil cubes (30 cm) examination, including soil and litter. The findings revealed that diversity, equitability as well as abundance of extracted macrofauna were found to be generally more important in mulch-based cropping plots: soil and surface litter transformers (earthworms, diplura, thysanura, etc.), but also predators (spiders, centipedes, carabids, etc.) and phytophagous arthropods such as millipedes. These preliminary results underline a significant impact of soil management techniques on macrofauna pattern and trophic communities, with key organisms serving as potential indicators of the biological activity of the soil.