In South Africa, crop production systems based on intensive and continuous soil tillage have led to excessively high soil degradation rates.
This adds to the growing problems with profitability and poverty in some rural areas. There is general agreement that sustainable and economically viable agriculture will be achieved through the adoption of regenerative and conservation agriculture principles and practices.
Conservation agriculture is seen as an ideal system for sustainable and climate-smart agricultural intensification, through which farmers can attain higher levels of productivity and profitability while improving soil health and the environment.
In this week’s video series in collaboration with the Maize Trust, Denene Erasmus, editor of Farmer’s Weekly, speaks to Mmakgabo Matlou, senior researcher in soil science at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), about the basic principles of conservation agriculture.