The quality of soil structure and fertility across many arable drylands has degraded at alarming rates due to rising temperatures and water scarcity. In addition, an increasing trend in monocropping, frequent soil tillage, and harvesting, burning, or on-site grazing of crop stubble residues has further exacerbated land and soil degradation. In response, ICARDA supports farmers by delivering proven solutions such as conservation agriculture that balances yields, conserves resources, and increases efficiency.
ICARDA and National Agricultural Systems partners developed conservation agriculture to enhance soil fertility, limit erosion, and conserve moisture. By using zero-tillage techniques, diversifying crop rotations, and conserving crop residue, crop production becomes more resilient to climate change than conventional methods. Conservation agriculture also helps minimize total production cost, reduces greenhouse gases (due to its limited dependence on tractors and fossil fuels), and decreases stubble burning