Updated Jun 10, 2019

Zero tillage wheat to boost productivity and profitability while reducing environmental impacts of production in South Asia

Part of CIMMYT

Zero tillage (ZT) boosts yields and reduces production costs while saving energy, water, and labor


Timothy j. Krupnik

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Stage 5: Scaling

CSISA has facilitated the emergence of ZT machinery service providers, attributable to CSISA’s focused support to small entrepreneurs who are driving expansion, as well as market facilitation role by linking machinery importers with local traders.

Focus Areas:

Cultivation & Tools, Soil Management and Water Management

Cultivation & Tools, Soil Management and Water ManagementSEE LESS

Implemented In:

India and Nepal

India and NepalSEE LESS

Lives Impacted to Date
Countries Implemented In
Verified Funding


High costs of cultivation and inefficient resource use



Eliminates tillage

Target Beneficiaries

All wheat farmers

Innovation Description

Across South Asia and as a first entry point for 'conservation agriculture' based crop establishment, CSISA has worked to refine, evaluate, and scale zero tillage technologies for several staple crops, with special attention given to wheat. Research results consistently demonstrate that zero-till wheat yields about 0.5 tons per hectare more while reducing production costs by up to 45% when implemented through service providers. In Nepal, CSISA is working with machinery importers and service providers to increase access to this proven technology.

The Team Behind the Innovation

The Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) is led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and implemented by a team of scientists and change-makers with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Operating across South Asia, CSISA works to increase the adoption of resource-conserving and climate-resilient technologies and improves farmers’ access to markets and enterprise development.



Dec 2018
Lives Impacted
Nov 2016
In The News
TITLETowards Large-scale Adoption of Zero Tillage in Bihar
Nov 2015
New Country Implemented In
Dec 2013
In The News
TITLESupporting policy change: Bihar promotes early wheat sowing and zero tillage technology
Nov 2013
New Country Implemented In

Supporting Materials