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close this bookAbstracts on Sustainable Agriculture (GTZ; 1992; 423 pages)
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts On Traditional Land-Use Systems
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on farming systems research and development
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on integrated systems
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on cropping system
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agroecology
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agrometeorology
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agroforestry
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on homegardens
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on seed production
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on plant protection
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on water management
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on soil fertility
close this folderAbstracts on erosion and desertification control
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the document1. Indigenous soil and water conservation in Africa.
View the document2. Sustainable uses for steep slopes.
View the document3. Land restoration and revegetation.
View the document4. Economic analysis of soil erosion effects in alley cropping, no-till, and bush fallow systems in southwestern Nigeria.
View the document5. Soil conservation and management in developing countries.
View the document6. Guidelines: land evaluation for rainfed agriculture.
View the document7. Small-grain equivalent of mixed vegetation for wind erosion control and prediction.
View the document8. A method for farmer-participatory research and technology transfer: upland soil conservation in the Philippines.
View the document9. African bean-based cropping systems conserve soil.
View the document10. Refining soil conservation strategies in the mountain environment: the climatic factor.
View the document11. Conservation tillage for sustainable crop production systems.
View the document12. Caring for the land of the usambaras - a guide to preserving the environment through agriculture, agroforestry and zero grazing.
View the document13. Vetiver grass (vetiveria zizanioides) - a method of vegetative soil and moisture conservation.
View the document14. Erosion in andean hillside farming.
View the document15. Conservation tillage systems.
View the document16. Soil erosion, water runoff and their control on steep slopes in Sumatra.
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on potential crops for marginal lands

11. Conservation tillage for sustainable crop production systems.

Project Res. Report, No. 4, Departm. of Agricult. Technical and Ext. Services, Zimbabwe; 1992, pp. 22

"Conservation Tillage for Sustainable Crop Production Systems" is a collaborative programme between the Department of Agricultural Technical and Extension Services (AGRITEX) of Zimbabwe and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fnr Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH of Germany.

The primary objectives of this technical co-operation project are:


- to assess the soil and water conservation merits and yield potentials of several conservation tillage techniques based on animal traction and/or manual labour,

- to select appropriate cropping systems with smallholders.

Ultimate project purpose is to make adequately tested tillage and cropping technologies available to resource-poor farmers in the Communal

Areas of Zimbabwe. This will be done on the basis of synthesized results of complementary on-station and on-farm trials.

In addition to the technical programme, the project also comprises a staff development scheme for Zimbabwean counterparts by providing funds for post-graduate studies overseas and offering on-the-job training.

A major factor causing soil erosion in Zimbabwe is clean tillage involving the mouldboard plough which is often used too late (after the onset of the rainy season) and/or done too shallow (approx. 125 mm) because of a general lack of (suitable) draught animals. In order to alleviate this problem, communal agriculture requires conservation tillage systems which reduce runoff, soil loss and draught power and are both practical and acceptable to the farmer. Although techniques are available, they are yet to be tested and validated for the different agro-ecological regions and the prevailing socio-economic conditions.

A two-pronged approach of complementary on-station and on-farm trials has been adopted by the project, because there is widespread understanding that, in order to assist in the development and adoption of sustainable farming practices, comprehensive approaches are required that interlink the aspects of sustainability (technical and agro-ecological factors) and acceptability.

During the early stages of project formulation, three main treatments were selected for investigation, namely: mouldboard ploughing, ripping into bare ground and no-till tied ridging.

The results of three seasons (1988/89 to 1990/91 of on-station trials showed that no-till tied ridging was best from a soil conservation point of view. Except on one occasion, sheet erosion rates were in the order of only 0,1 to 0,3 t/ha/yr at both research sites. Higher soil loss (2,2 t/ha/yr) from ridge tilled plots was measured in 1989/90 at Domboshawa, when approximately 800 mm of rain fell in a period of just six weeks. At the same time, 9,6 t/ha/yr were lost from the fields ploughed with the mouldboard plough.

The results also revealed that the seasonal influence on yield levels was highly significant. In addition, topsoil depth and soil profile and/or physical characteristics were highly related to maize yield. This interaction was particularly evident with no-till tied ridging.

From the first three years' results it would appear that, in the dry region, tied ridging will meet the criterion of equal or improved yield levels compared to mouldboard ploughing only if existing management practices, in particular with respect to timely planting and first weeding, are improved.

The paper provides an insight into the multiple problems associated with on-farm research, which not only demand close cooperation between the farmers and researchers involved, but also require skills in communication by the researcher and a strong interest in working closely with farmers.

1264 92 - 13/62

Erosion and desertification control

Africa, Tanzania, highlands, technical aspects, soils, crops, macrocontour lines, plant protection, animal traction, agroforestry, livestock keeping, extension, nutrition, integrated approach, GTZ


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