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One of the side effects of conventional agriculture is its impact on natural resources, and particularly on soil degradation. Conservation agriculture is a set of agricultural practices that aim at protecting the soil against erosion and all forms of soil degradation.
It contributes to soil fertility enhancement by enriching it with organic matter, by enhancing soil structure and enabling biological activity in the soil. It also allows an optimized management of water resources, enhancing soil water-retention capacity, thus reducing evaporation.
Conservation agriculture bases its foundation on three basic principles: minimum tillage (including
sometime zero tillage), crop rotations and associations, and permanent soil cover (living cover crops or mulch). These principles include a number of agricultural practices that interact each with another; the main objective being to improve productivity on a sustainable way, to increase farmer profits and improve food security, while preserving natural resources and environment, thus fulfilling the three dimensions (economic, social and environmental) of sustainable development and agroecology.
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