68 Chapters
Medium 9781780645681

2 Weatherproofing Agriculture with Conservation Agriculture

Kassam, A.H.; Mkomwa, S.; Friedrich, T. CABI PDF

2

Weatherproofing Agriculture with Conservation Agriculture

Amir H. Kassam,1* Saidi Mkomwa2 and Theodor Friedrich3

University of Reading, UK; 2African Conservation Tillage Network, Nairobi,

Kenya; 3Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Havana,

Cuba

1

2.1  Introduction

Weatherproofing agriculture generally refers to protecting agriculture from the variability in weather, thereby avoiding the negative effects of fluctuations or variations, including extreme events, and of longer-term trends or changes over time and space in weather or climate. It also refers to making agriculture ‘climate-smart’ so that agriculture has the resilience to stand up to climate variability and climate change, and to be able to cope with extreme events and recover from shocks, while at the same time reducing the contribution of agriculture towards climate change or even helping to mitigate it.

Weather and climate (i.e. long-term weather) include parameters such as precipitation (rainfall, snow, hail and their amount, intensity, timing and duration, distribution in time and space, seasonality, droughts, floods), temperature (minimum, maximum, diurnal range, seasonality, heat waves, cold spells and frost), air humidity (level, duration, timing) and wind (speed, timing, duration, typhoons, cyclones, hurricanes). These parameters, and others such as solar radiation and characteristics of soil and terrain or landscape as well as crop and cropping system, define the reference agroecological potential of land at a particular location for specific crops, cropping systems and farming systems. When considered over large areas or landscapes and ecosystems, they define the reference agroecological as well as socio-economic potentials and suitability for agriculture systems development. Weather and climate parameters and their fluctuations and longer-term trends, as well as temporal and spatial patterns, have significant

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Medium 9781780645681

12 Conservation Agriculture in South Africa: Lessons from Case Studies

Kassam, A.H.; Mkomwa, S.; Friedrich, T. CABI PDF

12 

Conservation Agriculture in South

Africa: Lessons from Case Studies

Hendrik J. Smith,1* Erna Kruger,2 Jaap Knot3 and James N.

Blignaut4

Grain SA, Pretoria, South Africa; 2Mahlathini Organics, Pietermaritzburg,

South Africa; 3KEL Growing Nations Trust, Ladybrand, South Africa;

4

University of Pretoria, South Africa

1

12.1  Introduction

Mainstreaming sustainable agriculture systems in South Africa has become imperative. Severe environmental degradation, low farm profitability and poverty associated with current conventional production systems have brought the agricultural sector to a crossroads. If farmers in South Africa are offered a better chance to survive on the farm and if sustainable and economically viable agriculture is to be achieved, then the paradigms of agricultural production and management must be changed.

Conservation Agriculture (CA) is an approach to managing agroecosystems for improved and sustained productivity, increased profits and food security while preserving and enhancing the resource base and the environment. CA is characterized by three linked principles (FAO, 2001; Lal, 2010), namely: (i) continuous no or minimum mechanical soil disturbance; (ii) permanent organic soil cover; and (iii) diversification of crop species grown in sequences and/or associations, including the use of cover crops.

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Medium 9781780643137

2: Trade Policies for Animal Products

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade Policies for Animal

Products

2

2.1  Development of Trade Policy

Trade is a natural activity for a species that is very social, highly communicative and mobile around the planet. Humans evolved as an opportunistic species, seeking out new environments to occupy. When the majority of the habitable areas of the planet had been colonized, several thousand years ago, humans naturally turned to trade to cement relations with people in occupied lands for mutual benefit. Through trade they could obtain goods that they could not produce or obtain at home, and in return they offered goods they were able to produce or could produce more easily, or economically, than those in the lands they visited.

Trade also developed relations between peoples of different cultures, allowing fringe benefits to be had through the cultural exchange that ensued. Inevitably, it required a degree of trust between the traders, concerning delayed payment for example, or the benign intent of visitors. In some cases trade was a smokescreen for an attempt to take over a region, and thus great caution was required on the part of the hosts for a visiting party.

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Medium 9781780645681

3 Conservation Agriculture: Growing More with Less – the Future of Sustainable Intensification

Kassam, A.H.; Mkomwa, S.; Friedrich, T. CABI PDF

3

Conservation Agriculture:

Growing More with

Less – the Future of Sustainable

Intensification

Patrick C. Wall*

Independent Agricultural Research Consultant, Bahias de Huatulco, Mexico

3.1  Definitions

Sustainability:

Satisfy human food, feed and fibre needs (and contribute to fuel needs).

Enhance environmental quality and the resource base.

Sustain the economic viability of agriculture.

Enhance the quality of life for farmers, farm workers and society as a whole (NRC, 2010).

Sustainable intensification:

• Sustainable increase in production per unit of land per unit of time.

3.2  Sustainability and Efficiency

There are biophysical, economic, social and political aspects to sustainability, which therefore cannot be attained through a set of agricultural practices alone; rather, the technology needs to be embedded in a comprehensive set of actions that lead to sustainable agriculture. Conservation Agriculture

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Medium 9781603444750

10. Sex and Age Ratios

Hernández, Fidel Texas A&M University Press ePub

Figure 10.1 Sex and age ratio data are relatively easy to collect from harvested bobwhites. This information can be used to gain insight on bobwhite survival and productivity. (Photograph provided by Dale Rollins)

THE SEX AND AGE of bobwhites in the harvest provides information that may be used to index or induce additional attributes of populations such as production, survival, and distribution of hatches during the breeding season. As was the case with population counts, this information may be useful in evaluation of management efforts or habitat types. For example, estimates of average annual survival may be used to evaluate quail responses between a pasture with a grazing system and one with continuous grazing. Hatching distributions may be used to evaluate if supplemental feeding in a pasture influences the length of the hatching season differently than in a pasture with no feeding. Age ratios may be used to compare the productivity of bobwhite populations among habitat types or properties.

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