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Conservation Agriculture and its contribution to the achievement of agri-environmental and economic challenges in Europe

1 ETSIAM, Universidad de Córdoba, Spain
2 European Conservation Agriculture Federation (ECAF), Belgium
3 Asociación Española Agricultura de Conservación. Suelos Vivos (AEAC.SV), Spain
4 Reading University, UK
5 Institute of Mediterranean Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (ICAAM), University of Evora, Portugal
6 Bern University of Applied Sciences, School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, Switzerland

Special Editions: Sustainable Crop Production Intensification

Conservation Agriculture is an ecosystem approach to farming capable of providing solutions for numerous of the agri-environmental concerns in Europe. Certainly, most of the challenges addressed in the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) could be tackled through Conservation Agriculture (CA). Not only the agri-environmental ones, but also those concerning farmer and rural communities’ prosperity. The optimisation of inputs and similar yields than conventional tillage, make Conservation Agriculture a profitable system compared to the tillage based agriculture. Whereas this sustainable agricultural system was conceived for protecting agrarian soils from its degradation, the numerous collateral benefits that emanate from soil conservation, i.e., climate change mitigation and adaptation, have raised Conservation Agriculture as one of the global emerging agrosciences, being adopted by an increasing number of farmers worldwide, including Europe.
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Keywords no tillage; erosion; climate change; groundcovers; environmental policy; CAP

Citation: Emilio J. González-Sánchez, Amir Kassam, Gottlieb Basch, Bernhard Streit, Antonio Holgado-Cabrera, Paula Triviño-Tarradas. Conservation Agriculture and its contribution to the achievement of agri-environmental and economic challenges in Europe. AIMS Agriculture and Food, 2016, 1(4): 387-408. doi: 10.3934/agrfood.2016.4.387


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