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Empirical evidence has been accumulating that sustainable intensification of crop production is technically feasible and economically profitable. Added benefits are the improvement of the quality of the natural resources and protection of the environment in currently unimproved or degraded areas, provided farmers participate fully in all stages of technology development and extension. This has led to what is called "conservation agriculture." Three criteria, i.e. no mechanical soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations, distinguish conservation agriculture from a conventional agricultural system. This publication demonstrates how conservation agriculture can increase crop production while reducing erosion and reversing soil fertility decline, thus improving rural livelihoods and restoring the environment in developing countries. The document is based on testimonies and experiences of farmers and extensionists in Latin America and Africa.
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