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Direct seeding equipment for tractors (Conservation Agriculture)








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    Document
    Zero / minimum tillage in rice-wheat system in Nepal 2013
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    By tradition, in the Terai region farmers believe that wheat planting needs well-prepared and pulverized soil for high yields, carrying out several plowings and harrowing. However, after rice, land is marshy or wet and ploughing is not possible, delaying wheat planting. Zero or minimum tillage provides minimum disturbance of the soil by placing the seeds directly in furrows. Seeds are then covered with well-decomposed compost and rice stubbles left in the field. Some advantages of zero-tillage is the reduction of about 30% in the use of water, compared to conventional tillage, as well as an improvement in the physical properties of soil. In addition, by planting wheat in time, higher yields may be obtained.
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    Document
    Community seed banks
    Junior Farmer Field and Life School - Facilitator’s guide
    2014
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    Seed saving is a practice that farmers and their families have been engaged in for millennia. It has allowed them to cultivate a large number of different local varieties, which have been able to adapt to different environmental conditions and changes, such as to the shortages of water, strong winds, limited soil nutrients and so on. Although seeds can be saved at the global level, such as in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault1, this may not be enough to ensure diversity at local level. In this rega rd, community seed banks can help farmers to access seeds to grow crops during the next planting season or they can be used as an emergency seed supply when their crops are damaged and destroyed, for example, due to flooding. As climate change has a significant impact on agricultural production, growing local varieties, which have a high degree of genetic diversity, is highly important because these varieties have the ability to better withstand and adapt to environmental stresses and changes. S etting up community seed banks may help farmers to acquire varieties that are adapted to local conditions; these varieties may not be accessible through formal seed systems, may be costly or may suffer from erratic supplies. If farmers, in particular small holder farmers with poor resources, can access these locally adapted varieties, it can help them to get access to seeds for the next planting season as well as provide them with an emergency seed supply in times of crisis, thus making them les s dependent on the formal seed systems. Community seed banks will help to preserve seed of the most adapted varieties for the region, either local varieties or new ones coming from breeding programs. The selection of the most suited varieties for a region needs time and trials with technical support, but after the identification of best varieties, the community seed bank plays a very important role in maintaining the availability of quality seed. Seed diversity is enhanced and additional income is generated when seeds are exchanged and sold to neighbouring communities. Diversification of crops and varieties is also highly important in terms of people’s food security, because it reduces the risk of total production failures and contributes to strengthening communities’ resilience.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Guidelines for the establishment and management of seed testing laboratories
    Joint ISTA and FAO Handbook
    2023
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    This Joint ISTA and FAO Handbook provides comprehensive guidelines for the setting up and managing of seed testing laboratories, including those that cater to small- and medium-scale seed enterprises and farmers’ cooperatives, which operate in low input production systems. The adherence to the guidelines by seed testing laboratories results in the use of uniform procedures across the board thereby facilitating inter-laboratory transferability of data. This harmonization enhances confidence in seed quality assurance mechanisms. The publication is an update of a previous one that was also jointly published by both organizations in 1969 and revised in 1979 and 1983. Its utility is enhanced by a set of new up-to-date information that builds upon existing data. The Handbook provides guidance on the range of seed testing equipment, procedures, and management systems that have become available in the several decades since the previous editions. Seed testing is a critical component of the seed value chain and is essential for the production of quality seeds, i.e. seeds that are alive, can germinate and produce vigorous seedlings; are healthy and come from lots that meet set thresholds for genetic and analytical purity. The Handbook covers all aspects of seed testing, from laboratory design and equipment selection to sample preparation, testing methods, and data analysis. Importantly, the publication also addresses the challenges of testing seeds in low input systems and provides guidance on how to adapt procedures to these settings. Therefore, it serves as a reference material and training resource for everyone involved in seed quality assurance procedures, in particular the personnel of seed testing laboratories and regulatory agencies; seed producers and farmers. The updated publication represents a significant improvement over previous guidelines, as it incorporates advances in technology and provides guidance on a broader range of testing procedures. The guidelines are designed to be adaptable to different contexts and seed types and include recommendations for quality management systems, proficiency testing, and inter-laboratory comparisons, which are essential for ensuring the accuracy and reliability of seed testing results.

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