By JULIUS PHIRI in Lundazi –
INTERNATIONAL Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) Cropping Systems agronomist Christian Thierfelder has praised Total Land Care (TLC) Zambia and the Ministry of Agriculture for the smooth implementation of conservation agriculture.
Dr Thierfelder said he was happy to see farmers under TLC and Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock keenly follow the conservation agriculture which was effective.
He was speaking when he toured demonstration plots for farmers under Sustainable Intensification of Maize Legume Systems for Eastern Zambia (SIMLEZA) African Rising project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Lundazi District last Thursday.
Dr Thierfelder said conservation agriculture which TLC and the Ministry of Agriculture were promoting was vital in ensuring minimal loss of top soil.
Dr Thierfelder said conservation agriculture had less labour and higher yields.
“Conservation agriculture offers opportunities to produce higher and more stable yields with significantly less labour while dramatically reducing soil erosion and moisture loss,” he said
Dr Thierfelder said conservation farming was also improving soil productivity and crop yields thereby increasing food security in most of the households more especially with the changing in climate environment.
CIMMYT was led by Dr Thierfelder and agronomist Walter Mupangwa, economist Munyaradzi Mutenje, officials from Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) officials from International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and journalists.
The officials toured Katete, Chipata and Lundazi Districts of Eastern Province.
And TLC country manager Halimu Malumo said his organisation was promoting a wide range of vegetables and herbs suitable for different agro-ecologies and markets.