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Conservation agriculture in the dry Mediterranean climate

Kassam A.H., Friedrich T., Derpsch R., Lahmar R., Mrabet R., Basch G., González-Sánchez E.J., Serraj R.. 2012. Field Crops Research, 132 : p. 7-17.

DOI: 10.1016/j.fcr.2012.02.023

The objective of this article is to review: (a) the principles that underpin conservation agriculture (CA) ecologically and operationally; (b) the potential benefits that can be harnessed through CA systems in the dry Mediterranean climate; (c) current status of adoption and spread of CA in the dry Mediterranean climate countries; and (d) opportunities for CA in the Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA) region. CA, comprising minimum mechanical soil disturbance and no-tillage seeding, organic mulch cover, and crop diversification is now practised on some 125 million ha, corresponding to about 9% of the global arable cropped land. The area under CA is spread across all continents and many agro-ecologies, including the dry Mediterranean climate. Empirical and scientific evidence is presented to show that significant productivity, economic, social and environmental benefits exist that can be harnessed through the adoption of CA in the dry Mediterranean climates, including those in the CWANA region. The benefits include: higher productivity and income; climate change adaptation and reduced vulnerability to the erratic rainfall distribution; and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. CA is now spread across several Mediterranean climate countries outside the Mediterranean basin particularly in South America, South Africa and Australia. In the CWANA region, CA is perceived to be a powerful tool of sustainable land management but it has not yet taken off in a serious manner except in Kazakhstan. Research on CA in the CWANA region has shown that there are opportunities for CA adoption in rainfed and irrigated farming systems involving arable and perennial crops as well as livestock. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : agriculture alternative; climat méditerranéen; climat semi-aride; pratique culturale; système de culture; non-travail du sol; travail du sol minimal; mulch; culture sous couvert végétal; diversification; rotation culturale; intensification; région méditerranéenne; argentine; chili; espagne; france; portugal; États-unis; kazakhstan; afrique du nord; afrique du sud; turquie; république arabe syrienne; irak; jordanie; australie; agriculture de conservation

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