CIAT


The Quesungual Slash and Mulch Agroforestry System (QSMAS) is a smallholder production system with a group of techniques for the sustainable management of vegetation, soil, and water resources in drought-prone hillsides.

QSMAS’ improved management is based on four key principles:
1. No slash and burn—partial, selective, and progressive management (“slash and prune”) of natural vegetation.
2. Permanent soil cover—continual deposition and distribution of mulch from biomass of trees, shrubs, weeds, and crop residues.
3. Minimal disturbance of soil—“no tillage” throughout the growing season; direct seeding.
4. Efficient use of fertilizers—appropriate application (timing, type, amount, location).

Pdf document available from CIAT website

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The corporate report looks ‘back to the future’—to the thousand million farmers practicing small-scale mixed crop-and-livestock agriculture in poor countries—the kind of seemingly old-fashioned family farming systems that have become so fashionable in recent years among those wanting to reform the industrial food systems of rich countries.

The report synthesizes results of a study, ‘Drivers of change in crop-livestock systems and their potential impacts on agro-ecosystem services and human well-being to 2030,’ being published in book form in 2011. The study was a collaborative endeavour conducted by a group of scientists in centres belonging to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The study was funded and coordinated by the CGIAR’s Systemwide Livestock Programme and led by Mario Herrero, a livestock systems analyst at the International Livestock Research Institute.

The SLP study shows that it is not big efficient farms on high potential lands but rather one billion small ‘mixed’ family farmers tending rice paddies or cultivating maize and beans while raising a few chickens and pigs, a herd of goats or a cow or two on relatively extensive rainfed lands who feed most of the world’s poor people today, and is likely to play the biggest role in global food security over the next several decades, as world population grows and peaks (at 9 billion or so) with the addition of another 3 billion people.

Read the report in pdf