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Soil and Land Management

Introducing conservation agriculture
watering and harvesting shallots

The Soil and Land Management Program takes a systems approach to research. The Program supports research on adapting soil, water and nutrient management, and other agronomic interventions, to local conditions.  

In some regions, the research aims to improve soil security, increase production and achieve sustainability by improving resource-use efficiency while maintaining and enhancing ecological services. In other regions, the goal is to improve livelihoods by raising yields and increasing profitability of agricultural enterprises. 

Scarcity of resources, increasing population growth and climate change are placing huge burdens on smallholder farmers. Inappropriate farming systems and over-exploitation of resources are degrading land and impacting on soil security, depleting nutrients, and accelerating soil acidification, salinisation and desertification. Ensuring that agricultural production is sustainable—and benefits smallholder farmers—is a key challenge for long-term food security. 

In complex systems of environmental, social and economic interactions, the Soil and Land Management Program aims to help smallholders boost productivity while ensuring soil and food security are achieved through sustainable use of limited resources in a changing climate. 

The Program emphasises an integrated approach in identifying promising practices within farming systems, targeting specific agro-ecological zones. Intersecting with socioeconomic factors, it develops technologies that enable farmers to sustainably utilise resources and intensify production. 

Research Program Manager:  Dr James Quilty