Conservation agriculture, livelihoods and deforestation in Zambia

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Conservation agriculture (CA) practices such as minimum tillage have been promoted for about two decades as a way to conserve soils and increase agricultural productivity and farm incomes in sub-Saharan Africa, including Zambia. As an integral component of Climate Smart Agriculture, which aims to enhance agricultural productivity and climate change adaptation and mitigation, CA is central to poverty reduction efforts since the majority of rural households in sub-Saharan Africa depend on rainfed agriculture for their livelihoods. However, such multiple objectives associated with CA makes objective assessments of its uptake and impacts difficult. This thesis focuses on minimum tillage, the main component of CA, and addresses four questions on uptake, and impacts on maize yields, livelihoods and deforestation.

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