Conservation agriculture (CA) entails climate smart agriculture practices that can cushion smallholder farmers from climate change induced droughts. Based on three interlinked principles; minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil covers and crop rotation, conservation agriculture is a way of managing agro-ecosystems aiming to improve productivity, while preserving the environment. Tillage is reduced to an absolute minimum; agrochemicals and plant nutrients are applied in quantities that do not interfere with biological processes, leading to better soil quality and ultimately resulting in healthier crops.
While most of Sibindi's neighbours are expecting zero yields this year, he boasts that his tomato plant will be ready for harvesting in the next few weeks. The Sibindis are beneficiaries of a project implemented by FAO through assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), promoting the adoption of CA practices in the smallholder sector in southern Africa.