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Evaluation of FAO’s Contribution to the Conservation Agriculture Thematic Cluster

01/05/2018

Based on three principles – minimum soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotation - Conservation Agriculture (CA) is an approach that intends to increase productivity while conserving the environment. Funded by OFDA/USAID, FAO’s project aimed to validate and demonstrate CA practices, boost CA adoption among resource-poor farmers and mainstream CA into agricultural policies in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. The evaluation found the project appropriate, relevant and effective in terms of reducing crop losses in rain-fed areas affected by land degradation and drought. The evaluation observed and documented cases of increased production, soil moisture conservation during drought, increased soil fertility, reduction of input costs and labour. The project could have delivered greater and sustained synergies between the two neighbouring countries. Sustaining CA introduction will require further improvement to the enabling environment and a new project focused on the broader aspects of climate-smart agriculture, with clear policy-oriented actions and adaptive research.

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