This is a comprehensive survey of how government policies have affected agricultural performance in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980. The government helped smallholders triple their grain sales in the early 1980s, but left the country vulnerable to drought, leading to emergency food aid imports in 1992. The experience of Zimbabwe offers valuable lessons not only for South Africa, but for all countries struggling to find an appropriate role for government in agriculture during the 1990s.
This book contains an updated assessment of trends in the adaptation for adoption of conservation agriculture and the latest on the technologies to induce resilience of agriculture to climate change, increase profitability and sustainability. It has continental and sub-regional focus, and also includes the following sections: (l) Overview; (ll) Climate-proofing Productivity with Conservation Agriculture; (lll) Resilience and Sustainable Intensification with Conservation Agriculture; (lV) Research and Extension/Adoption of Conservation Agriculture in Africa; (V) Summing-up.
This book critically examines the idea that the sustainability of agriculture could be improved by mimicking the structure and processes occurring in natural ecosystems. Researchers from around the world present comparative studies of multi-species farming systems, natural ecosystems and conventional agriculture. Case studies from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and North and South America examine the implications of increasing the complexity of farming systems on water and nutrient cycling, productivity and resilience. Theoretical issues discussed include the role of biodiversity in agriculture, the trade-off between perenniality and productivity, the choice to integrate or segregate production and conservation in an agricultural landscape, and the social and economic challenges to adopting complex farming systems. One section is devoted to the application of this concept in southern Australia, where 15 million hectares of land are expected to be affected by salinity by the middle of the next century unless there is a significant change in agricultural practice.
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