The science of farming has moved toward more sparing and efficient use of land, water, and energy. One example is conservation agriculture, a decades-old practice that is producing benefits for the environment and profits for large-scale farmers in some countries. Conservation agriculture is an important focus of CGIAR’s Cereal Systems Initiative in South Asia (CSISA). For smallscale farmers in South Asia and elsewhere, conservation agriculture, and complementary activities such as laser land leveling and agroforestry, could be an environmental and economic boon, but the hurdles to adoption are still high. This is where IFPRI researchers come in: they are looking not at the science, but at the economics of conservation agriculture, and proposing ways to make more sustainable farming economically viable even for poor, small-scale farmers. The feature article in this issue of Insights explains how.
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— Shenggen Fan, Director General