The ASA Approach

MANAGING SOIL TO MANAGE WATER AND PRODUCE MORE

Erratic rainfall patterns, rising temperatures and recurrent drought threaten the livelihoods of farmers in Central America and Mexico who depend on seasonal rainfall. Meanwhile, farming practices like incorrect fertilization, overgrazing, and the burning of hillsides hurt yields and make farmers more vulnerable to extreme weather. ASA shifts away from the conventional practices of hillside agriculture that strip soils bare. Water-Smart techniques like cover cropping protect soils from erosion during downpours while capturing rainfall that helps crops survive, even during dry spells. By focusing on soil health, we are achieving production levels rarely seen in small-scale agriculture and building resilience to an increasingly variable climate.

CORE ASA PRACTICES
Protecting soil and making efficient use of water optimizes productivity, allowing us to get the most out of every raindrop. We do that by increasing the infiltration and retention of water in soil, rather than losing it to runoff or evaporation. Keeping soil covered and managing soil fertility increase organic matter and lead to bigger yields. It also plays an important role in restoring and conserving the water resources of communities downstream.
Triple benefits of ASA: increased productivity, strengthened resilience and restored soil and water resources.
A KNOWLEDGE-BASED APPROACH TO AGRICULTURE
No universal formula exists to remedy the challenges facing farmers. Farming systems, geography and soil conditions vary considerably from community to community and from farm to farm. For this reason, experimentation lives at the heart of ASA’s knowledge-intensive approach. ASA promotes life-long learning practices that help farmers make informed decisions about farmland management based on data, observations and results.
COLLABORATION TO REVITALIZE CENTRAL AMERICAN AND MEXICAN AGRICULTURE AT SCALE
Collaboration is key to reaching thousands of farming families as they utilize ASA practices to boost their productivity and build more resilient agricultural livelihoods. Over the years, we’ve forged relationships across the public and private sectors with the shared goal of developing collective strategies, action plans and public policies that facilitate ASA adoption on a large scale.
AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES THAT RESTORE WATER RESOURCES
Farming practices in Central America and Mexico can have a profound impact on the quality and quantity of water resources in rural communities. ASA takes a comprehensive approach that goes beyond targeting individual farmers. Several initiatives in the region are working territorially to scale up ASA’s innovative Water-Smart practices and restore deteriorated landscapes.