Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development

Innovating in the Pampas

Zero-tillage soybean cultivation in Argentina

Eduardo Trigo, Eugenio Cap, Valeria Malach, and Federico Villarreal

Key period: 1989–present

Geographic region: Argentina

The intervention: The introduction of zero-tillage cultivation techniques among Argentine farmers has contributed to a significant increase in global supplies of soybean, an essential food and feed crop, elevating Argentina to a leading position in global soybean production. An innovative partnership among farmers, researchers, extension workers, and private companies was formed in the late 1980s to promote zero tillage. Nearly 22 million hectares of land were brought under this resource-conserving cultivation practice between 1991 and 2008. The use of zero tillage, along with the introduction of herbicide-resistant soybean varieties and other factors, improved soil fertility by reversing decades of erosion, created an estimated 200,000 new agricultural jobs, and provided the international market with new supplies of soybeans that contributed to keeping global food prices low.

Book Chapter:
Innovating in the Pampas: Zero-tillage soybean cultivation in Argentina
Eduardo Trigo, Eugenio Cap, Valeria Malach, and Federico Villarreal
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Discussion Paper:
The case of zero-tillage technology in Argentina
Trigo, E.; Cap, E.; Malach, V.; Villarreal, F. 2009. IFPRI Discussion Paper 915.
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