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FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Conservation agriculture reducing soil degradation, boosting yields

Conventional soil tilling and other practices have led to loss of soil fertility and lower crop yields in many parts of Central Asia. In a region where agriculture is an important part of the economy and contributes significantly to food security, action to reverse this trend must be a priority.

Since 2011, FAO has been introducing elements of “Conservation Agriculture” – a set of practices and techniques designed to conserve soil structure and fertility – in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. These practices include growing crops on raised beds, zero tillage, diversification of cropping systems, retaining crop residue and other techniques. The work is part of a multi-country project under the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme.

This week FAO published a set of guidelines based on the findings of this field work: Practice of conservation agriculture in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

The new book – available in English and Russian – presents possible ways of adopting Conservation Agriculture that are specific to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. It includes methods such as permanent raised-bed planting and zero-tillage technologies, control and eradication of weeds, crop rotation, and laser-assisted land levelling.

The book targets agricultural scientists and specialists, trainers, extension experts and interested farmers who are instrumental in promoting Conservation Agriculture in the region.

Field-level work and the publication itself were financed by the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme and implemented by FAO in cooperation with the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).

9 June 2016, Budapest, Hungary

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