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Improving soil and water management and crop productivity of dryland agriculture systems of Aceh and NSW

This project aims to examine practices in dryland cropping systems in selected districts and identify the agronomic constraints for increasing productivity.

In Aceh, Indonesia, rural poverty in dryland farming areas is a challenge to the development of the agricultural sector. Farmer livelihoods could be improved by increasing the yields and profitability of dryland food crops such as soybean, rice, peanut, maize and vegetables. Poor soil fertility and water availability limit the productivity of these crops.

This project will develop and test integrated soil, water and crop management practices for increasing the cost-effective production of crops in rotations, using farmer participatory trials. The project will develop strategies for disseminating information on promising technologies, through local extension staff, women's farming groups, farmer-to-farmer visits, field days, forums and project publications. Improved soil and crop management will contribute to enhanced yields and ultimately increase farmer incomes.

In Australia, this research will add value to work in dryland farming areas of New South Wales to increase yields of pasture in rotation and evaluate land management practices to help farmers better manage crop loss risks.