Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Conservation and Smallholder Farmers

Conservation agriculture is an accepted resilient agriculture strategy. Effective at the small scale, in plot size of less than 50 hectares, smallholder farmers can increase productivity and help build resilience to climate shocks. Conservation agriculture can lead to increased productivity, build resilience and protect the soil.

While there is no evidence to date that conservation agriculture improves nutrition, the potential exists that the techniques could impact nutrition security at the household level for women and mothers. One example of implementing resilience design in Zimbabwe, works with families so they are better able to respond to shocks and stresses of weather by focusing on improving soil and water health through better pattern and land understanding, and through building farmer capacity to design more resilient farm sites.

In addition, Conservation Agriculture Project, supported by NORAD, focused their training in youth programs in community schools. Youth were trained in farming practices with tools and inputs in a local training plot that supported the local community. One goal of the program was to train young farmers to continue farming in the future.

Horticulture Innovation Lab works in Cambodia showed the application of conservation agriculture techniques with drip irrigation reduced the time spent farming, and thus decreased the farm related workload of women in the household.

Resilience Design in Smallholder Farming Systems Training in Zimbabwe

Farmer Led upscaling of Conservation Agriculture project

TOPS Permagarden toolkit (Ethiopia)  

TOPS Evaluation report

Join the Discussion

  • What other conservation agriculture practices may you recommend to further conserve water usage?
  • What are the advantages of involving youth in conservation agriculture practices?


It's interesting to hear about the Conservation Agriculture Project that focused their training in youth programs in community schools.  I appreciate the youth lens and wonder how they were engaged in the training design.  Youth engagement is particularly important in  areas where the youth are not seeing a future in rural areas or wanting to engage in Agriculture. 

Consequently we had a webinar this morning on Private Sector & Smallholder Adapatation: What We Know!  Post-event resources will be uploaded next week!   

Great observation. I was reminded again of the value of integrating into the entire community. While providing the training to the youth through the schools, they were also involving the entire family and community to increase the extension of the training.