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Geography

Conservation Agriculture
I visited the FAO site and went to the Agriculture 21 magazine and read an article. The name of the article was conservation agriculture, which is basically another method that farmers would be able to utilize in regards to their farming, needs and cost reduction strategies. The Food and Agricultural Organization has been working with CA to help expand the program more to other regions.


The farmers that are using it says that it gives them a means of conserving, improving, and making more efficient use of their natural resources. In order for CA to be effective, it requires careful planning of crop rotations, new approaches to weed control and pest management and range of other precision farming skills.


Once the CA is stabilized, it will be more manageable and productive than conventional agriculture. This system ahs also been adapted for vegetables and root crops. As far the climate is concerned it is only unsuccessful in arid areas with extreme water shortages and low production of organic matter.


In chapter 6 they discuss a technique that is similar to CA which is conservation tillage which sets out to reduce erosion by maximizing the amount of crop residue that is left on the soil surface and by maintaining soil structure useful to infiltration rather than runoff.
Some of the reasons that it has spread slowly throughout the different regions is, some farmers are still not comfortable with adapting to that change. Just like conservation tillage, CA has been widely adopted in North America while in Europe it is still a learning process. With the aid of The First World Congress on Conservation Agriculture and the FAO, they aim to help match he environmental requirement of sustainable agriculture with the economic needs of the farming community.


I think it will have a positive impact in most regions if this idea is accepted and followed through. With the proper management skills that farmers are willing to give it a try. Eventhough the machinery manufacturers might not be too enthusiastic promoters of CA, they feel less equipment is required and the need for tillage equipment will be reduced.