Conservation agriculture and carbon sequestration: between myth and farmer reality
Human efforts to produce ever-greater amounts of food leave their mark on the environment. Persistent use of conventional farming practices based on extensive tillage, especially when combined with removal or in situ burning of crop residue, have magnified soil erosion losses and the soil resource base has been steadily degraded. Another direct consequence of farmers persistent use of traditional production practices is rapidly increasing production costs; the costs of inputs such as improved varieties and fertilizers continue to increase and farmers make inefficient use of them. Despite the availability of improved varieties with increased yield potential, the potential increase in production is not achieved because of poor crop management systems. Nowadays, people have come to understand that agriculture should not only be high yielding, but also sustainable. Conservation agriculture (CA) has been proposed as a widely adapted set of management principles that can assure more sustainable agricultural production.
Verhulst N, François IM, Govaerts B. 2012. Conservation agriculture and carbon sequestration: between myth and farmer reality. Mexico, DF: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).