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Adaptation for small-scale farmers

Farmers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the USA, and elsewhere have long been reaping the benefits of conservation agriculture (CA)—high yields from fewer inputs, saving themselves time and money, and boosting their incomes while improving their soils and protecting the environment.

ICARDA’s research shows that CA could have an even greater impact on food production and on farmers’ livelihoods in dry areas in low-income countries. The challenge is to adapt CA to meet the needs and resources of smallholder farmers in these countries.

ICARDA has experience, knowledge, partners, and the drive to make this happen. Already, the Center and its partners have helped farmers in Iraq and Syria develop simple, affordable CA planters based on the seeders they already have, and using local materials and expertise to manufacture new seeders. Adoption is spreading rapidly, improving livelihoods and increasing food security. Farmers in Morocco, Tunisia, and elsewhere are also benefiting from similar programs.

This web resource presents ICARDA’s approach to developing and promoting CA for smallholder farmers in dry areas, through its partnerships with national planners and extension agencies. We hope it will encourage rural development programs to adopt similar approaches and spread CA to all those who can benefit from it.

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Harpenden, United Kingdom, March 9 – ICARDA scientist Mustapha El Bouhssini received a lifetime achievement award from the International Association of Plant Resistance to Insects.