Conservation Agriculture (CA) is an ecosystem approach to sustainable agriculture and land management based on the practical application of three interlinked principles of:
(i) Continuous none or minimum mechanical soil disturbance (no-till seeding/planting and no-till weeding);
(ii) Permanent maintenance of soil mulch cover (crop biomass, stubble and cover crops); and
(iii) Diversification of cropping system (crop rotations and/or sequences and/or associations involving annuals and perennials, including legumes for natural nitrogen fixation), along with other complementary good agricultural production and management practices.
CA enhances biodiversity and natural biological processes above and below the ground surface, which contributes to increased carbon sequestration, water and nutrient use efficiency, hence the improved and sustained crop production.
Agrimech Directors are the number one experts and propellers of mechanized Conservation Agriculture (CA). They were part of the small team of pioneers that believed in putting every effort to get Kenyan farmers to adopt and practice CA. They saw CA as a channel of renewing efforts towards general mechanization efforts that had pretty much stalled. The Kenya CA movement started in 1998 with two small FAO and ICRAF - Regional Land Management Unit (RELMA) funded projects. These led to an FAO regional project - Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (CA-SARD I and II). The Agrimech MD was the national head of CA-SARD I.
As Agrimech continues to learn from hands-on CA mechanization services, we have been called to undertake continent-wide consultancy assignments in two key areas:
1. Studying Workable Agricultural Mechanization Business Models that are in use across Africa and
2. Developing A Framework for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization Strategies in Africa: Sending the Hand-hoe to the Museum assigned by AUC/FAO Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa (SFE). Addis Ababa Ethiopia. The Sub-regional case studies on agricultural mechanization led to the Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization for Africa (SAMA) Book. This ground-breaking book is now being used by African countries to develop private-sector led mechanization strategies and plans.