Pushing toward the integration of crop-livestock and conservation agriculture
ICARDA, International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas
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Tunisia – A modern farming town in northern Tunisia, Siliana is one of the first places in this progressive North African country of 11 million people to adopt conservation agriculture and its use in crop-livestock systems. At a gathering of the town’s professional farmers’ association, the members were eager to discuss successes and challenges. The SMSA, as the association is named, started with three farmers working on conservation agriculture during the first phase of the IFAD-funded project for “Crop-Livestock System and Conservation Agriculture,” also known as CLCA around here. They minimized the disturbance of the soil, kept crop residues to maintain soil cover, and rotated crops. Often referred to as the three pillars of conservation agriculture, this practice helps mitigate soil nutrient depletion and land degradation, while increasing yields. It brings optimal production at the best cost.