Accompanying the maize boom in the Kham basin and Nonghet district - NAFRI

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Since the mid-2000s, land-use in Kham basin and Nonghet hillsides has come to be dominated by hybrid maize mono-cropping. The rapid expansion of this commercial crop has a tremendous impact on both the local economy and the environment. Maize has not only replaced existing gardens, chilli and fruit tree plantations but it has also expanded at the expense of forests and former fallow land. With the transition towards intensive commercial agriculture, agricultural productivity has increased considerably while rural poverty has receded. Yet, a growing number of farmers are now confronted with land degradation issues (e.g. soil erosion, lowland siltation, weed pressure and chemical pollution), excessive production costs and indebtedness. In this context, the activities promoted by PRONAE have focused on accompanying the ‘maize boom’ and, in particular, mitigating its potentially negative impacts by developing DMC-based maize cropping systems.

Mots-clés : maïs, diffusion, TCS - Techniques culturales simplifiées, scv, Socio-économie

Direct seeding mulch-based cropping systems for rice-beef production in the plain of Jars. Xieng Khouang province,Lao PDR: an example of "creation-validation" méthodological approach.

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The Plain of Jars is an acid, infertile savannah grassland covering an area of about 60,000 ha in the western region of Xieng Khouang Province, northeastern Lao PDR. In this ecology, farming systems are mainly based on lowland rice cultivation and extensive livestock production. An increase in rice production and intensification of the livestock industry are two key components in the Lao government's poverty alleviation strategy for this area.

Mots-clés : scv

Direct drilling is behind agronomy of opportunity in Tunisia.

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Tunisian climate is mediterranean, characterized by irregular, sudden, intense and relatively low rain-fall. Land degradation is continuing, water resources are becoming scare, and energy cost of farm products is continuously getting high. Consequently, cereal producers can hardly make an economic return, while practicing conventional agriculture based on conventional drilling (CD). Conservation agriculture based on direct drilling (CA/DD) gives farmers a chance to protect soils and rebuilt their fertility for an efficient use of any available form of water (rain-fall, irrigation). Such desirable efficiency does not come only by the use of the appropriate crop species, but necessarily by reducing water evaporation. To do so, a permanent mulching on the soil surface is the pivot of CA/DD. Since rain-fall fluctuates from one year to another, crop sequences should parallel with such conditions. Some couloirs have early rains (September-October) and late rains (May-June) too. In Bou-Salem (Governorate of Gendouba), early and late rains accounted for 26.2 % and 19.9 % of the 07/08 total rain for cereal growing season (September/07-June/08), respectively. These rains are not well capitalized in cereal production, when applying conventional agriculture. So, coupling the site specific approach and agronomy of opportunity is imperative to lift up farm productivity. The climate (rain, heat) of production sites should be characterized to better define growing seasons and make the appropriate agronomic sequence. Then, the agronomy of opportunity (producing the maximum of biomass whenever the climate and the biology of the desired crop are favorable) could be applied in different scenarios, under rain-fed and/or irrigation conditions. There is no static scheme to crop the land, and it is rather a dynamic management of soil, crops, and water. A particular emphasis should be put on use of strictly seasonal (fall, winter, spring, summer) cereals and legumes in order to make a continuing cropping with two-three crops a year. A potential scenario could be a fall-barley/springpeas/ summer short season-sorghum hybrid.

Mots-clés : eau, sorgho, Légumineuses, régions méditerranéennes, mulch, scv

Smallholder Conservation Agriculture Promotion (SCAP)

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Programme for strengthening livelihood strategies and socio-economic growth among farming communities in Western and Central Africa through sustainable application of conservation agriculture.

Mots-clés : diffusion, petite agriculture familiale, Socio-économie, politique publique

Soil aggregation, water-holding capacity, and biological activity under no-till systems and cropping sequences in the Lao PDR.

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In the four southern districts (Kenthao, Paklay,Boten, and Thongmixay) of Xayabury province, the current cropping systems are based on cash crop production. Maize is the main crop under rainfed conditions and covers more than 30,000 ha in the region. Land preparation is based mainly on plowing, which degrades soil and destroys infrastructures (paddy fields and roads). These deteriorations result from growing pressure on agricultural systems and farmers’ lack of access to affordable labour.

Mots-clés : sans travail du sol, TCS - Techniques culturales simplifiées, propriétés physico-chimiques du sol, gestion du sol, scv

Improving smallholder income generation by integrating DMC by-products into pig raising activities.

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Development of cereal/legumes association in DMC system with smallholder farmers needs to provide direct economic benefits in addition to soil fertility improvement and weed control. Thus, no till maize associated with pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) has been promoted in Sayaboury province of Lao PDR in order to improve the conventional maize monocropping system,provide farmers with additional raw material for pig raising and reduce local dependence on imported soybean meal.

Mots-clés : Agriculture de conservation, scv

A farmer-group based approach linking research and development for the promotion of Conservation Agricultural in the Lao PDR.

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A holistic approach, based on a permanent link between research and development, has been implemented by the Lao National Agro-Ecology Programme (PRONAE – PCADR,NAFRI), the Rural Development Project of the four southern districts of Xayabury province (PASS – PCADR, LCG), and the Sector-based Programme on Agroecology (PROSA, MAF), in partnership with the department of agriculture and forestry of Xayabury and Xieng Khouang provinces.

Mots-clés : Agriculture de conservation, diffusion, petite agriculture familiale, scv

Investing in Sustainable Agricultural Intensification: The Role of Conservation Agriculture - A Framework for Action

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The Framework document is the outcome of a Technical Workshop, held at FAO headquarters in Rome in July 2008, entitled: ",Investing in Sustainable Intensification: The Case for Improving Soil Health",. The Framework document together with other information on the Workshop can be found at A Workshop report is under preparation.

Mots-clés : Agriculture de conservation, recherche-action, érosion, scv, Socio-économie, politique publique

Institutional tools for the promotion of conservation agriculture in Lao PDR

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The National Agroecology Programme (PRONAE) and the Southern Xayabury Application Point (PASS) of the Capitalization and Rural Development Support Programme (PCADR) have developed an approach in the provinces of Xayabury and Xieng Khouang that relies on direct sowing mulch-based cropping systems (DMC). This approach has provided relevant alternatives to traditional agricultural practices which can no longer ensure the foundations of sustainable agriculture.

Mots-clés : Agriculture de conservation, diffusion, petite agriculture familiale, scv, Socio-économie, politique publique

Terre malgache Spécial semis direct Tany Malagasy

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Voici le numéro 26 de « Terre Malgache », qui paraît suivant une formule originale : ils'agit d'un numéro entièrement consacré à l’agriculture sous couverture végétalepermanente (SCV), réalisé en partenariat avec le GSDM (Groupement Semis Direct deMadagascar), l’entité qui met au point et vulgarise ces techniques à Madagascar, etl’IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement).Les contributions que vous trouverez dans cette parution sont les résumés descommunications et posters du séminaire International tenu à Antananarivo du 03décembre au 08 décembre 2007Est-il nécessaire de mettre en relief l’utilité de la lutte contre l’érosion des sols agricoles,en ces périodes d’incertitude alimentaire mondiale ? Est-il besoin, aujourd’hui où nousconstatons quasi-quotidiennement les effets pervers des modifications climatiques(réchauffement, irrégularité des précipitations, météores, etc.) de souligner l’importancede la couverture végétale et des sols pour la séquestration du carbone ?A ce double titre, nous tenons à saluer la pertinence de l’initiative du GSDM et de l’IRD,et apportons notre modeste contribution en aidant à la dissémination des résultats decette rencontre.Jean RASOARAHONA

Mots-clés : écobuage, séquestration de carbone, types de sol, érosion, TCS - Techniques culturales simplifiées, fertilité, scv, Biologie des sols
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