Funded by Agropolis Fondation, Investissements d’Avenir, Projet 1401-016.      

The following modules are based on the first chapters of a practical handbook of direct seeding on permanent soil cover in Madagascar, originally published in French in 2009. Although this handbook focuses on Madagascar, the principles and the processes described have a much broader scope and can be used worldwide.

By: Olivier Husson, Lucien Séguy, Hubert Charpentier, Serge Bouzinac, Roger Michellon, André Chabanne, Stéphane Boulakia, Florent Tivet, Krishna Naudin, Frank Enjalric, Stéphane Chabierski, Pierson Rakotondralambo, Ignace Ramaroson, Rakotondramanana.


  • Module 2 The model of the rainforest ecosystem,
  • Module 3 Drivers of conservation agriculture for a sustainable production and
  • Module 4 Conceptual model of DMC systems from the course NAME are required.

The courses Soil organic matter, Soil organisms and Soil aggregation are helpful but not necessary.

At the end of the module you will be able to:

  •  explain how agricultural practices in DMC systems contribute to build a healthy soil for sustainable crop production.
  • explain the reasons why conventional plough-based agriculture leads to soil degradation and decreasing crop productivity.


  1. In DMC systems, the continuous production of biomass (above and belowground) and the non-disturbance of the top soil and the litter fuel the biological activity responsible for decomposition and aggregation processes, allowing a continuous net accumulation of SOC.
  2. In this second lesson you will learn:
    • The negative impacts of plough-based cropping systems on soil fertility
    • How soil fertility can be improved through natural processes enhanced under DMC systems
  3. In tropical regions, the optimization of water-use is particularly important, since the water supply is irregular and extremely variable.
  4. In this lesson you will learn:
    • how the restoration and enhancement of biological processes contribute to the regulation of populations of insects and reduce disease prevalence.
    • how an unbalanced cropping system favor the occurrence of pests and diseases, and contribute to a higher use of pesticides.

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