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Preserving the Soil and Reaping Greater Harvests

Smallholder farmer Peter Mcharo, from Kibaigwa village, Morogoro Region in eastern Tanzania, has a reason to smile. His fields are full of green, healthy maize plants, he has richer soil and he spends less time farming now than he did two years ago.

Mcharo, told IPS: "In my five seasons of using the system, I have confirmed that it is better to use conservation agriculture as my colleagues in the village cooperative have made a larger profit per half hectare compared to when we cultivated a bigger piece of land." "I could spend well over 125 dollars in preparing my small piece of land and purchasing fertiliser and seeds but I would harvest only 15kgs of maize per half hectare, and get 106 dollars for it, unlike now days where I earned more, for instance 250 dollars in my last harvest - almost three times what he made the previous year." Mcharo said. "Apart from cutting down production costs, I have found this technology time-saving and less rigorous." He added.

Viewed as one of the major solutions to food insecurity and as a mechanism to adapt to climate change in Africa, conservation agriculture (CA) is giving Tanzanian smallholder farmers like Mcharo better harvests as the country faces an acute food shortage