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Conservation Agriculture

Conservation Agriculture principles

Conservation Agriculture is based on three main principles adapted to reflect local conditions and needs:

Minimum mechanical soil disturbance: Minimum soil disturbance refers to low disturbance no-tillage and direct seeding. The disturbed area must be less than 15 cm wide or less than 25% of the cropped area (whichever is lower). There should be no periodic tillage that disturbs a greater area than the aforementioned limits. Strip tillage is allowed if the disturbed area is less than the set limits.

Permanent soil organic cover: Three categories are distinguished: 30-60%, >60-90% and >90% ground cover, measured immediately after the direct seeding operation. Area with less than 30% cover is not considered as CA.

Species diversification: Rotation/association should involve at least 3 different crops. However, repetitive wheat, maize, or rice cropping is not an exclusion factor for the purpose of this data collection, but rotation/association is recorded where practiced.