Our vision is to develop a network of researchers in Africa and the UK, within institutional environments that are conducive to world-class research, applying cutting-edge scientific methods to fill gaps in our understanding of the impacts of conservation agriculture practices on the water cycle in cultivated soils.
There is evidence that reduced tillage, returning crop residues to the soil (for protection and to increase its carbon status) and increased crop diversity can make cropping more resilient to dry conditions. This is known as conservation agriculture, or CA.
The Global Challenges Research Fund CEPHaS project is a joint undertaking between colleagues in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and the UK to strengthen our shared capacity to study how conservation agriculture practices affect the behaviour of water in soil–crop–groundwater systems.
Our vision is to develop a network of African and UK researchers, within institutional environments that are conducive to world-class research, applying cutting-edge scientific methods to fill knowledge gaps on the impacts of conservation agriculture practices on the water cycle in cultivated soils.
Using modern methods in soil physics and hydrogeology, we are examining soil and groundwater via CA experiments in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and so developing our experience and capacity as a network to answer questions on behalf of farmers, their advisers and policymakers.
We have established new experiments at the University of Zambia's Liempe Farm. We are working with established experiments in Malawi (Chitedze) and Zimbabwe (Domboshava) allowing us to examine long to medium term effects of CA practices and to add value to these trials.
We are a team of soil scientists, agronomists, hydrogeologists, geophysicists, statisticians, agricultural economists and capacity developmental scientists from research institutions in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and the UK.
No. 1 (Feb 2018) — About CEPHaS
No. 2 (Jun 2018) — Recent activities in soil physics
No. 3 (Nov 2018) — Recent activities in shallow geophysics
No. 4 (Dec 2018) — Recent activities in hydrogeology
No. 5 (Jun 2019) — Recent activities in capacity strengthening
No. 6 (Oct 2019) — Recent advances in statistics
No. 7 (coming soon) — Recent advances in farming systems
No. 8 (coming soon) — Our CA experiments in Zambia
No. 9 (coming soon) — Our CA experiments in Malawi
No. 10 (coming soon) — Our CA experiments in Zimbabwe
No 11. (coming soon) — What is CA?
CEPHaS is funded by Research Councils UK through its Global Challenges Research Fund programme.