At CRS, the vision of our global strategy focuses on supporting communities with resilient agricultural livelihoods that sustain and restore the landscapes upon which they depend. Which is why we’ve crafted programs designed to work with agricultural communities so that they can make the best possible use of their land and water. Through our programs, we’ve demonstrated that agricultural practices that manage soil and water well achieve significant changes for the better. We’ve seen first-hand how ASA revitalizes agricultural production, creates resilience to drought, and restores soil and water resources in critical ecosystems.
We promote a shared vision, institutional commitments and collaboration between public, private and civil society actors to invest in and provide accessible services to farmers.
We are building an evidence base through field trials with more than 3,000 small-scale farmers and topical research in five countries.
TOOLS AND METHODOLOGIES
We collaborate with key stakeholders to validate and promote the adoption of tools and methodologies that facilitate the scaling of ASA. These include materials and methodology for Training of Trainers (ToT) on best practices for soil and water management, a toolbox for analyzing and monitoring soil on the farm, and an innovative methodology of digital mapping of functional soil properties.
We collaborate with the education, professional training, and extension systems to integrate ASA concepts and practices so that we can form a critical foundation of human capital that supports the implementation of ASA at scale.
We developed a regional communication and learning platform that widely disseminates and facilitates the exchange of information about the ASA approach.
ASA results from 3,000 farms show the potential for ASA practices to address the main climate and productivity challenges that farmers currently face in Central America and Oaxaca. The benefits of ASA have been proven through three years of implementation with significant increases in yields, net income, soil organic matter, and soil moisture.
ASA has trained more than 1,000 agricultural professionals in conservation agriculture, integrated soil fertility management, digital soil mapping, cover crops, soil testing and analysis, field schools, and agroforestry. These extensionists and educators have, in turn, reached an additional 1,000-plus extension agents and educators and approximately 40,000 promoters, farmers, and agronomy students.
We’ve developed the Training of Trainers in coffee and basic grains methodology in collaboration with extension service providers in five countries who can reach an estimated 100,000-plus farmers with technical assistance in soil and water management during the next 10 years.
The ASA competencies model organizes and communicates the abilities, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors required for the successful implementation of ASA by the farmer, extension worker, and subject-matter experts. The model provides input for the adaptation of training curricula and the development of evaluation tools and certifications.
Finally, 32 institutions (government ministries, universities, local NGOs and the private sector) organized in five digital soil mapping management groups (one in each country) have developed the capacity to produce soil interpretation maps that support land management decision-making from the farm to the national territories.