Farmer-led approaches to drylands farming: crop - livestock conservation agriculture
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The video depicts a successful story of crop-livestock integration in areas with scarce natural resources and land degradation such as Tajikistan, Tunisia and Algeria. While zero till seeding is an efficient technique to respond to water scarcity and fallow land, its adoption has not been embraced by a significant amount of smallholder farmers. While zero till technique brings benefits to farmers in terms of production, it contrasts with another important part of their livelihood, i.e. livestock. Stubble - which is used for grazing- is required to be left to the soil for nutrients. Consequently, ICARDA scientists with the support of NARS and with the active participation of farmers have tested different solutions to reconcile livestock with cropping. The focus has been on finding alternatives to animal grazing and grazing on vetch resulted to be the most plausible solution. Indeed, conservation agriculture is time, water, labour and cost efficient making it thus possible not only to save water and increase crop production but also to create new markets for lower- cost machines. Interviewed farmers show satisfaction with results and are committed to promote conservation agriculture to other smallholders. These new technologies aim to support scaling up though delivery package that could benefit to millions of people in partner countries.