English | Dzongkha Saturday, December 16, 2017

Incorporating Conservation Agriculture can help achieve SDG, say experts

Sangay Chezom, Paro
Aug 31, 2017

Bhutanese farmers can incorporate good practices of Conservation Agriculture into organic farming to achieve some of the Sustainable Development Goals and sustainable agriculture in the country.

Experts from South Asia highlighted this during a consultative meeting on Conservation Agriculture in Paro.

Conservation Agriculture is soil management practices that maintain health and fertility of the soil while improving crop yields and long term environmental sustainability.

The Programme Director of Agriculture Research and Development Centre, Pema Chofil, said conservation is one form of agriculture that is based on three principles.

“The first principle is minimum disturbance to soil; second principle is we try in the conservation agriculture, the crop residues are left, so that there is a permanent soil cover. And third and one of the most important is crop rotation. You rotate the crops in such a way that the nutrients and soil fertility is maintained.”

While the three principles of Conservation Agriculture are adoptable; the use of heavy machinery and chemicals in the field cannot be replicated.

“At the moment, we are getting to know what is Conservation Agriculture. We are looking at the principles, we are looking at the practices and that doesn’t mean that we would be going head long with practicing this CA,” Pema Chofil said. “Conservation Agriculture use heavy machinery and it is not possible in Bhutan. They use chemicals, herbicides which we don’t want to use.”

He said improvising conventional agriculture with best practices of Conservation Agriculture will help achieve poverty alleviation, zero hunger and enhance ecosystem services.

The SAARC Agriculture Centre, College of Natural Resources, Royal University of Bhutan and Agriculture and Forests organized the three-day meeting, which ended yesterday.

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