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dc.contributorRusinamhodzi, Leonarden_US
dc.contributorSiziba, Shepharden_US
dc.contributorThierfelder, Christianen_US
dc.contributorMvumi, Brightonen_US
dc.contributorNhau, Brightonen_US
dc.contributorHove, Lewisen_US
dc.contributorChivenge, Paulineen_US
dc.creatorMafongoya, Paramuen_US
dc.identifier.citationParamu Mafongoya, Leonard Rusinamhodzi, Shephard Siziba, Christian Thierfelder, Brighton Mvumi, Brighton Nhau, Lewis Hove, Pauline Chivenge. (11/1/2016). Maize productivity and profitability in Conservation Agriculture systems across agro-ecological regions in Zimbabwe: A review of knowledge and practice. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 220, pp. 211-225.en_US
dc.description.abstractConservation agriculture (CA) is increasingly promoted in southern Africa as a strategy to improve food security and reverse soil degradation in the face of climate change. However, the performance of CA under different environments and its ability to improve ecosystem services is still unclear. The effects of the CA options; direct seeding, rip-line seeding, and seeding into planting basins on maize grain yield, soil health and profitability across agro-ecological regions in Zimbabwe were evaluated through a review of literature in combination with meta-analysis. Overall, CA improved maize yield over conventional agriculture. Compared to conventional agriculture, direct seeding, rip-line seeding, and seeding into planting basins increased yield by 445, 258 and 241 kg ha!1, respectively. However, there was an initial yield decline in the first two years. CA practices reduced soil erosion and bulk density, and increased soil water content in most studies. Under high levels of residue retention (6 Mg ha!1), CA systems exhibited greater macro fauna abundance and diversity than conventional agriculture, particularly termites. Weed pressure tended to increase labour requirement for hand-hoe weeding under CA compared to conventional agriculture. However, the use of herbicides reduced weeding labour demand during the early season. The benefits of CA are tied to the farmers’ management intensity including: time of planting, weeding, fertiliser and herbicide application, and adequate training on equipment use. Economic analysis results showed that on average, a farmer incurs losses for switching from conventional agriculture to CA in the main maize growing regions of Zimbabwe. Based on the six seasons’ data, the losses were least with the ripper in drier areas and worst with the direct seeder in wetter areas. Incorporation of chemical herbicides worsens the economic returns of CA tillage options in all the agro-ecological zones. Overall, the study showed that the rip-line seeding is more attractive in the drier areas than direct seeding. Although not costed in this study, critical is the cumulative reversal of soil degradation associated with consistent CA practice which can sustain agriculture. Results from this review suggest that the benefits of CA depend largely on the type and context of CA being practised. It is thus imperative to profile the technology, the farmer socio-economic circumstances and the bio-physical environment in which the farmer operates for proper geographical and beneficiary targeting to achieve greater impact. More longer-term studies are required to fully elucidate the benefits and context of CA options and practice.en_US
dc.publisherElsevier Massonen_US
dc.sourceAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment;220,(2016) Pagination 211,225en_US
dc.subjectyield advantageen_US
dc.subjectmaize-based systemen_US
dc.subjectresidue retention and weed dynamicsen_US
dc.titleMaize productivity and profitability in Conservation Agriculture systems across agro-ecological regions in Zimbabwe: A review of knowledge and practiceen_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen_US
cg.subject.agrovocdirect seedingen_US
cg.contributor.centerUniversity of Zimbabwe - UoZen_US
cg.contributor.centerInternational Maize and Wheat Improvement Center - CIMMYTen_US
cg.contributor.centerFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - FAOen_US
cg.contributor.centerInternational Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics - ICRISATen_US
cg.contributor.crpCRP on Dryland Systems - DSen_US
cg.contributor.funderNot Applicableen_US
cg.coverage.regionEastern Africaen_US
cg.isijournalISI journalen_US
dc.identifier.statusLimited accessen_US
cg.journalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environmenten_US

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