COMESA Pursues Conservation Agriculture

Published on 10th August 2009

COMESA Secretariat in partnership with ICRAF and the Government of Malawi convened a stakeholders workshop to explore the possibility of scaling up Conservation Agriculture from 6th-7th August 2009 at Lilongwe Hotel, Malawi.

 

The workshop was convened as a follow-up activity to the Malawi National Climate Change round table convened in June 2009. Conservation agriculture was identified by the key stakeholders at a national Climate Change workshop as an important technology for adaptation and mitigation to Climate Change. Conservation farming (CF) includes dry season land preparation using minimum tillage methods, crop residue retention, precision input application, and nitrogen-fixing crops or perennial nitrogen fixing plants and crop rotations.

 

The Conservation Agriculture workshop agreed that the CA has potential of increasing crop yields. Further, the climate Change regime has the potential, through both market and fund based mechanisms, to help provide additional sources of financing for sustainable and carbon enhancing agricultural practices. The carbon market may play a role provided that the climate benefits of carbon sequestration and emissions reductions from land-based carbon are recognized under the UN’s carbon market rules, which is currently not the case.

 

Mr. Miti, COMESA Climate Change Coordinator, informed the meeting that COMESA Secretariat was in a process of developing a flagship programme on adaptation to Climate Change and that the Joint meeting of ministers of Agriculture and Environment held in November 2008 agreed that the region should develop a programme for scaling up of Conservation Agriculture.

 

The meeting agreed on developing a business plan for upscaling of conservation agriculture and the simplification of the concepts of minimum tillage and the formulation of the national policy on minimum tillage.

 

The next climate change agreement is currently under negotiation and the negotiating text has included the role of Agriculture in Climate Change mitigation. In this regard, the most feasible technology for enhancing soil carbon is through minimum tillage and agro forestry.

 

Courtesy: COMESA Climate Change Unit.


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