Conservation agriculture feeds people and protects the environment
Switzerland, United States Department of Agriculture
On June 5, 2020, the world celebrates World Environment Day as COVID-19 continues to cause challenges and restrictions. Existing threats of climate change with the new challenges of a global pandemic adversely affect the agricultural sector, a mainstay of most sub-Saharan African economies. This situation calls for increased attention to how agriculture is practiced and natural resources — such as soil and water — are cared for.
Smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe are custodians of these natural resources, yet climate variability of shifting rainfall seasons, El Niño and droughts threaten successful rain-fed farming. Coupled with conventional farming practices such as tillage and deforestation, the soil structure and chemical quality are gradually degrading. Each passing year has resulted in declining yields, food insecurity and increased household vulnerabilities, particularly in drought-prone, low rainfall areas of southern Zimbabwe.