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Projects and activities | 18 June 2019

BIOVA - Recycling plant and animal biomass in agricultural systems

The principals of conservation agriculture, allied to crop-livestock integration and the recycling of plant and animal biomass, holds the promise of better management of family farms’ resources under conditions of declining soil fertility and productivity, and increasing costs of inorganic fertilizers.

Taking upland rice in western and central Madagascar and lowland maize in semi-arid southern Mozambique as their targets, an international team of researchers in the BIOVA project used innovative technologies to build a comprehensive picture of biomass and nutrient flows through crops, forage and livestock, compost and manure in these systems. Drawing on this new knowledge, practical agro-ecological interventions were adapted to local conditions and then tested both in controlled conditions and in multi-season on-farm trials, overseen by farmers themselves. Although much works remains to be done, results point to a range of ecologically sustainable management options for boosting farm productivity and rural livelihoods.

Supporting these technical successes, the BIOVA project has also achieved success in fostering the conditions for future research, reinforcing and extending an international scientific and technical research network, as well as investing in institutional capacity and the next generation’s research community.

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