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Environmental impacts

Climate change is expected to negatively impact agricultural production in SIMLESA countries. Low-nitrogen stress combined with drought and heat stress will become increasing constraints on maize production, and on growing improved varieties. Improved agricultural technologies, agronomic practices and climate-smart national policies are essential to offset programed yield declines.

SIMLESA places environmental concerns as key to its agricultural development interventions because sustainable farming practices are critical to long-term profitability.

Through its programs, SIMLESA continues to promote conservation agriculture and maize-legume intensification to respond to declining soil fertility and sustainably increase the productivity and profitability of current farming systems. Increasingly, SIMLESA adapts its products to more erratic rainfall, increased heat stress and seasonal dry spells in Eastern and Southern Africa. The cropping systems it promotes can be labelled as climate-resilient, according to IPCC(2014), SIMLESA uses different strategies to improve farming system productivity depending on the agroecology, the socioeconomic environment and farmers’ resource endowment, and its interventions are based on good agricultural practices, minimum soil disturbance, residue retention and diversification through rotation with legumes and green manures.

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