SWCS Symposium, 2009

Conservation agriculture and food security issues in developing countries

July 13, 2009 International Meeting of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) Hyatt Regency, Dearborn, Michigan


This symposium was sponsored by the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) International Activities Committee and the SANREM CRSP.


  • The role of declining soil quality in agricultural productivity in developing countries
  • The potential of conservation agriculture to improve soil quality, agricultural productivity, and ecosystems services
  • Challenges that must be overcome if conservation agriculture is to improve food security


  • Theo Dillaha, Program Director, SANREM CRSP
  • Keith M. Moore, Associate Program Director, SANREM CRSP
  • Josef Kienzle, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
  • Rattan Lal, Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, Ohio State University
  • Paul Hepperly, Rodale Institute


Session I

Times Event
10:30-10:40 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks
Theo Dillaha, professor of biological systems engineering, Virginia Tech; program director, SANREM CRSP. See presentation (PDF, 1,379 KB)
10:40-11:20 Conservation agriculture in developing countries
Josef Kienzle, agro-industries officer, Rural Infrastructure and Agro-industries Division, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations. See presentation (PDF, 1,409 KB)
11:20-noon Soil carbon sequestration for advancing food security and offsetting CO2 emissions
Rattan Lal, director, Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, Ohio State University. See presentation (PDF, 882 KB)

Session II

Times Event
1:30-2:00 Food security crisis: Causes and solutions
John Staatz, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University (presented by Jonathan Winsten, research assistant professor, University of Vermont; program officer, Winrock International. See presentation (PDF, 120 KB)
2:00-2:30 Conservation agriculture and soil quality
Paul Hepperly, research director, Rodale Institute. See presentation (pdf, 1,918 kb)
2:30-3:00 Conservation agriculture and ecosystem services
Theo Dillaha. See presentation (pdf, 4,675 kb)

Session III

Times Event
3:30-4:00 Challenges and opportunities for smallholder adoption of conservation agriculture
Keith M. Moore, adjunct professor of sociology, Virginia Tech; associate program director, SANREM CRSP. See presentation (ppsx, 787 kb)
4:00-5:00 The outlook for international conservation agriculture
Panel discussion.

Question-Answer Session

Times Event
5:00-6:00 SANREM CRSP Phase IV Long-term Research Award Program. Information and request for applications. See presentation (pdf, 242 kb). Theo Dillaha, Keith Moore