Lessons learned: Designing and implementing conservation agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa
This “Lessons Learned” document (PDF) from IFAD of the conservation agriculture (CA) in sub-Saharan Africa toolkit reviews experiences over the last two decades in conservation agriculture. The three principles of conservation agriculture are: continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance; permanent organic soil cover; and diversification. While CA took off in Latin America, adoption in sub-Saharan Africa has been limited due to different contexts and challenges. Many of the reasons for failure (e.g. mixed messages, inappropriate incentive levels), and a number of the factors behind success (e.g. concerted campaigns, common platforms) are not peculiar to CA. They echo past experience with the introduction of technological innovation in sub- Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, there are some new lessons specific to CA, such as increased weed burdens, soil fertility management, and the need for specialized machinery and equipment. In this document crucial lessons are portrait. One lessons is that CA is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach and flexibility is needed to ensure it can be tailored to specific situations. Also, when starting new CA approaches weed control is difficult and glyphosate (a herbicide) is recommended. A series of country case studies are presented to review experience on a national basis, in addition to more general programme and technical recommendations.