Export file:

Format

  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text

Content

  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

An overview of Conservation Agriculture in the dry Mediterranean environments with a special focus on Syria and Lebanon

1 Department of Agriculture, FA FS, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
2 Conservation Agriculture Programme; ACSAD, Damascus, Syria
3 School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, UK
4 German International Technical Cooperation (GIZ), Eschborn, Germany
5 Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI), Tell Amara, Lebanon

Special Editions: Sustainable Crop Production Intensification

Conservation Agriculture (CA), comprising minimum or no mechanical soil disturbance through no-till seeding, organic soil mulch cover, and crop diversification is now practiced on some 157 million ha worldwide, corresponding to about 11% of the global cropped land. CA adoption in the Middle-East is low compared to other regions. Lack of knowledge on CA practices and systems discourages farmers from giving up ploughing. The main reason why farmers in the Middle-East have begun to apply the no-till system has been the cost reduction in fuel, labor and machinery required for land preparation. Soil and water conservation concerns do not appear to be the main drivers in the Middle-Eastern farmers’ decision to adopt or not to adopt CA. The adoption and uptake of CA by Middle Eastern farmers has been slow but it is nonetheless occurring gradually. Collection of information and research parameters related to agricultural practices are needed for designing a suitable soil and water conservation program for sustainable production intensification. Governmental policy encouraging the adoption and spread of CA systems in the Middle-East region is certainly a necessary condition for uptake. The objective of this article is to review the current status of adoption and spread of CA in the Middle-East, focusing mainly on Syria and Lebanon, and the potential beneficial consequences that can be harnessed through CA systems under rainfed conditions in both countries. The benefits include: higher factor productivity, yield and income; improved soil properties; climate change adaptation, including reduced vulnerability to the erratic rainfall distribution; and reduction in machinery, fuel and labor costs.
  Figure/Table
  Supplementary
  Article Metrics

References

1. Kassam AH (1988) Some agro-climatic characteristics of high-elevation areas in North Africa, West Asia and Southeast Asia, In: Srivastava, J.P., Saxena, M.C., Varma, S., Tahir, M. (Eds.), Winter Cereals and Food Legumes in Mountainous Areas, ICARDA, Aleppo, Syria:1–32.

2. Montgomery D (2007) Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations. University California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles.

3. Lahmar R, Ruellan A (2007) Dégradation des sols et stratégies coopératives en Méditerranée La pression sur les ressources naturelles et les stratégies de développement durable. Cahiers Agric 16: 318–323.

4. Kassam AH (1981) Climate, soil and land resources in North Africa and West Asia, In: Monteith, J., Webb, C. (Eds.), Soil Water and Nitrogen. Martinus Nijhoff/Dr. W. Junk, The Hague: 1–29.

5. Ryan J, de Pauw E, Gomez H, et al. (2006) Drylands of the Mediterranean Zone: Biophysical Resources and Cropping Systems, in: Peterson, G.A., Unger, P.W., Payne, W.A. (Eds.), Dryland Agriculture, 2 Eds., American Society of Agronomy Monograph 23: 577–624.

6. Stewart BA (2007) Water conservation and water use efficiency in drylands. In: Stewart, B., Fares Asfary, A., Belloum, A., Steiner, K., Friedrich, T., Eds., Proceedings of the International Workshop on Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Land Management to Improve the Livelihood of People in Dry Areas, 7–9 May 2007. ACSAD and GTZ, Damascus, Syria: 57–66.

7. Lal R, Reicosky DC, Hanson JD (2007) Evolution of the plow over 10,000 years and the rationale for no-till farming. Soil Till Res 93: 1–12.

8. Busari MA, Kukal SS, Kaur A, et al. (2015) Conservation tillage impacts on soil, crop and the environment. Int Soil Water Conserv Res 3: 119–129.    

9. During RA, Thorsten H, Stefan G (2002) Depth distribution and bioavailability of pollutants in long-term differently tilled soils. Soil Till Res 66: 183–195.    

10. Ali A, Ayuba SA, Ojeniyi SO (2006) Effect of tillage and fertilizer on soil chemical properties, leaf nutrient content and yield of soybean in the Guinea savanna zone of Nigeria. Niger J Soil Sci 16: 126–130.

11. Busari MA, Salako FK (2013) Effect of tillage, poultry manure and NPK fertilizer on soil chemical properties and maize yield on an Alfisol at Abeokuta, south-western Nigeria. Niger J Soil Sci 23: 206–218.

12. Corsi S, Friedrich T, Kassam A, et al. (2012) Soil organic carbon accumulation and greenhouse gas emission reductions from conservation agriculture: A literature review, Integrated Crop Management (101pp.). Vol.16. Rome: AGP/FAO.

13. Busari MA, Salako FK (2015) Soil hydraulic properties and maize root growth after application of poultry manure under different tillage systems in Abeokuta, south western Nigeria. Arch Agron Soil Sci 61: 223–237.

14. FAO, Advancement and impact of conservation agriculture/no-till technology adoption in Kazakhstan. Information note. 2012. Available from: ftp://ftp.fao.org/ag/agp/ca/CA_CoP_March13/FAO_Info_note_on_CA_in_Kazakhstan.pdf

15. Miura F, Nakamoto T, Kaneda S, et al. (2008) Dynamics of soil biota at different depths under two contrasting tillage practices. Soil Biol Biochem 40: 406–414.    

16. FAO, "Resources." ESS Website ESS: Web, 2013. Available from: http://www.fao.org/economic/ess/ess-publications/ess-yearbook/ess-yearbook2010/yearbook 2010-reources/en/

17. Kassam AH, Friedrich T, Derpsch R (2010) Conservation Agriculture in the 21st century: A paradigm of sustainable agriculture, Proceedings of the European Congress on Conservation Agriculture, Madrid, Spain, October 2010.

18. Derpsch R (2004) History of crop production, with and without tillage. Lead Edge 3: 150–154.

19. FAO, What is Conservation Agriculture? FAO Conservation Agriculture, 2011. Available from: http://www.fao.org/ag/ca/1a.html

20. Kassam AH, Friedrich T, Derpsch R, et al. (2015) Overview of the worldwide spread of conservation agriculture. Field Actions Sci Rep 8.

21. Oweis T (1997) Supplemental irrigation: a highly efficient water-use practice. ICARDA, Aleppo, Syria, pp. 16.

22. Bremner JM, Mulvaney CS (1982) Nitrogen total. In A. L. Page, R. H. Miller and D. R. Keeney (Eds.), Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 2: Chemical and Microbiological Properties (2nd ed.). Agronomy, 9, 595-624.

23. Olsen SR, Sommers LE (1982) Phosphorus. In A. L. Page, R. H. Miller, and D. R. Keeney (Eds.), Methods of soil analysis: Part 2- Chemical and microbiological properties (2nd ed.) (pp. 403-430). Madison, WI: American Society of Agronomy.

24. Mocek A, Drzymala S (2010) Genesis, analysis and classification of soils. Ed. UP in Poznan. 418.

25. Egner H, Riehm H, Domingo WR (1960) Studies concerning the chemical analysis of soil as background for soil nutrient assessment. II. Chemical extracting methods to determine the phosphorous and potassium content of soil. Kungliga Lantbrukshögskolans Annaler 26; 199.

26. Kirkegaard JA, Conyers MK, Hunt JR, et al. (2014) Sense and nonsense in conservation agriculture: Principles, pragmatism and productivity in Australian mixed farming systems. Agric Ecosyst Environ 79: 107–122.

27. Cantero-Martinez C, Gabina D, Arrue JL (2007) Evaluation of conservation agriculture technology in Mediterranean agriculture systems. In: Stewart, B., Fares Asfary, A., Belloum, A., Steiner, K., Friedrich, T., Eds., Proceedings of the International Workshop on Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Land Management to Improve the Livelihood of People in Dry Areas, 7–9 May. ACSAD and GTZ, Damascus, Syria: 157–164.

28. Mrabet R (2002) Wheat yield and water use efficiency under contrasting residue and tillage management systems in a semiarid area of Morocco. Exp Agric 38: 237–248.

29. Akbolat D, Evrendilek F, Coskan A, et al. (2009) Quantifying soil respiration in response to short-term tillage practices: a case study in southern Turkey. Acta Agri Scand Sect B Plant Soil Sci 59: 50–56.

30. Ben Moussa-Machraoui S, Errouissi F, Ben-Hammouda M, et al. (2010) Comparative effects of conventional and no-tillage management on some soil properties under Mediterranean semi-arid conditions in north-western Tunisia. Soil Till Res 106: 247–253.    

31. Lahmar R, Triomphe B (2007) Key lessons from international experiences about conservation agriculture and considerations for its implementation in dry areas. In: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Land Management to Improve the Livelihood of People in Dry Areas, 7–9 May, ACSAD and GTZ, Damascus, Syria:123–141.

32. Piggin C, Haddad A, Khalil Y, et al. (2015) Effects of tillage and time of sowing on bread wheat, chickpea, barley and lentil grown in rotation in rainfed systems in Syria. Field Crop Res 173: 57–67.    

33. Mrabet R (2000) Differential response of wheat to tillage management systems under continuous cropping in a semiarid area of Morocco. Field Crop Res 66: 165–174.    

34. Lahlou S, Ouadia M, Malam Issa O, et al. (2005) Modification de la porosité du sol sous les techniques culturales de conservation en zone semi-aride Marocaine. Etude et Gestion des Sols 12: 69–76.

35. Magnan N, Lybbert TJ, Mrabet R, et al. (2011) The quasi-option value of delayed input use under catastrophic drought risk: the case of no-till in Morocco. Am J Agric Econ 93: 498–504.

36. López-Fando C, Almendros G (2000) Interactive effects of tillage and crop rotations on yield and chemical properties of soils in semi-arid central Spain. Soil Till Res 36: 45–57.

37. Fernández-Ugalde O, Virto I, Bescansa P, et al. (2009) No-tillage improvement of soil physical quality in calcareous, degradation-prone, semiarid soils. Soil Till Res 106: 29–35.    

38. Moreno F, Arrúe JL, Cantero-Martínez C, et al. (2010) Conservation agriculture under Mediterranean conditions in Spain. Sust Agric Rev 5: 175–193.    

39. FAO (2009) Conservation Agriculture in Uzbekistan. Crop and Grassland Service Working Paper 2. FAO, Rome.

40. Crabtree B (2010) Search for sustainability with no-till bill in dryland agriculture. Crabtree Agricultural Consulting, Australia.

41. AL-Ouda SA (2013) Effect of tillage systems on wheat productivity and precipitation use efficiency under dry farming system in the North East of Syria. Arab J Arid Environ 6: 3-11.

42. Bashour I (2007) Impact of conservation agriculture on soil fertility in dry regions. Proceedings International Workshop on Conservation Land Management to Improve the Livelihood of People in Dry Regions. 7–9 May 2007, Damascus, Syria: 111-119.

43. Lafond GP, Walley H, Schoenau J, et al. (2008) Long-term vs. short-term conservation tillage. In: Proceedings of the 20th Annual Meeting and Conference of the Saaskatchewan Soil Conservation Association, 12–13 February, Regina, Saaskatchewan: 28–43.

44. Blank D (2008) A fresh look at life beneath the surface. In: Goddard, T., Zoebisch, M., Gan, Y., Ellis, W., Watson, A., Sombatpanit, S., Eds., No-Till Farming Systems, Special Publication No. 3. World Association of Soil and Water Conservation, WASWC, Bangkok: 73–81.

45. Wolfarth F, Schrader S, Oldenburg E, et al. (2011) Earthworms promote the reduction of Fusarium biomass and deoxynivalenol content in wheat straw under field conditions. Soil Biol Biochem 43: 1858–1865.    

46. Upadhyaya MK, Blackshaw RE (2007) Non-chemical weed management: principles, concepts and technology. CABI International, Wallingford.

47. ACSAD (2014) The Annual Report of Conservation Agriculture Program, Damascus, Syria.

48. Sayre KD (2011) Global overview of conservation agriculture-principles and focus. Proceedings Workshop on Conservation Agriculture and its Impact on Water Productivity. September, 2011, Karaj, Iran: 6-11.

Copyright Info: © 2016, A. AL-Ouda, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Article outline

Show full outline
Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved